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The Cutler Trade

April 8, 2009 - Ron Deuter
As a life-long Bears fan I should know better than to get excited about a quarterback. After all, the past two decades have seen the Bears cycle through QBs like Hugh Hefner goes through girlfriends. But the trade for Jay Cutler just feels different. Never before can I remember the Bears acquiring a Pro Bowl quality talent who has yet to reach his prime.

Only time will tell if this goes down as one of the greatest trades in Bears history or another monumental bust. But it’s interesting to see what Cutler has done through his first full two seasons when compared to a certain future Hall of Fame signal-caller who used to torment the Bears twice each season for better than a decade. I’m not suggesting Cutler is or ever will become a Brett Favre, but the numbers warrant a look.

Cutler and Favre both became starters in their second year in the NFL. So for purposes of this comparison, I omitted their rookie years and looked at each QBs first two full seasons in the league.

Jay Cutler (2007-08): 32 games/8,023 yards/45 TDs/32 INTs/63 percent completion rate. QB rating in 2007: 88.1; in 2008: 86.0.

Brett Favre (1992-93): 31 games/6,530 yards/37 TDs/37 INTs/63 percent completion rate. QB rating in 1992: 85.3; in 1993: 72.2.

Favre made his first Pro Bowl following his first full season. Cutler earned a Pro Bowl selection last season, his second full season. Favre didn’t eclipse 4,000 yards in a season until his fourth full season in 1995 when he passed for a career-best 4,413 yards. Cutler surpassed 4,000 yards for the first time last season, totaling 4,526.

Of course, there is a QB in the NFC North who tops both Cutler and Favre when comparing just the first full season as a starter:

Aaron Rogers (2008): 16 games/4,038 yards/28 TDs/13 INTs/64 percent completion rate. QB rating 93.8.

I’m thinking this new chapter to the Bears/Pack rivalry is going to be a memorable one. I can’t wait for Sept. 13.


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