Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Case for Cutler

All of my friends on Facebook are calling for the Bears to sit Cutler and play McCown instead. McCown has had a great 5 game starting streak -- in fact, he has the best single season stats of any QB who has started more than 4 games for the Bears ever.

That said, the law of averages is not on his side for being a futuristic miracle QB for the Bears. His average QB rating is around 70 for his career and his average INT % is around 3.5. McCown's stats in Arizona and Oakland as the starter were far below the league average. He is also 4 years older than Cutler.

And I don't recall anyone asking for McCown to replace Cutler forever when, just two years ago, he played in three games and threw 4 picks in those games. How do you know that his recent hot streak is not a fluke?

Cutler was, is and should continue to be the Bears QB.

Some stats for you about Cutler:
  • Of the top 10 QB single seasons by rating since 1980, on the Bears, Cutler has four of them. McMahon and Kramer both have two, Harbaugh and McCown have one each.
  • Cutler has thrown more TDs than anyone else in franchise history except Sid Luckman.
  • Sid Luckman had a 1.06 TD/INT ratio however. Cutler and Erik Kramer have the best TD/INT ratio--1.34 and 1.4--other than McCown's recent streak. If you throw out Cutler's horribad first season, his ratio is actually 1.51 -- the best of any Bear.
  • Josh McCown has thrown 15 TDs in 275 attempts -- Cutler has thrown 95 TDs in 2000 attempts. This makes McCown's overall TD percentage 5.45% compared to Cutler's 4.75% -- of course, with 9x the passes. 
  • For comparison, Sid Luckman's TD % is 7.86. 
  • Gale Sayers has a 5.56% TD percentage. It's true, he threw the ball 18 times and made a TD once. Higher than McCown.
  • Henry Burris has a higher TD percentage than McCown. Remember him?
The point of these stats is to show you that McCown's hot streak does NOT prove he's a consistent starting quarterback. The only head to head info we have is that, McCown played two teams that Cutler played this year -- Cutler won one that McCown did not (against Minnesota).

Futhermore, McCown's games came against the worst defenses in the league: Dallas, Minnesota, Lions, Packers and Redskins. The Rams are a passable defense and the only game that had a tough defense was Baltimore. This does not bode well for proving his awesome streak was not a fluke.

I hope the front office this time is not going to be swayed by Chicago fans. Bears fans (including myself) have a notorious history of thinking the backup is a better QB than the starter. History tells us that's almost never worked out.