Rewind the videotape to the second half of Monday's 34-18 demolition of Dallas, and you'll find Cutler as you've seldom seen him this season -- which is barely being touched by onrushing linemen. You'll also find him on a tear, completing all but one of 12 passes, throwing for two touchdowns and behaving like a quarterback should as he and Chicago buried the overwhelmed Cowboys.
OK, so it was the Cowboys. Well, yeah, that's my point. It was the Cowboys.
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Entering the game, they had the league's top-ranked defense and the NFL's second-ranked pass defense. Moreover, opposing quarterbacks completed only 57.5 percent of their passes against them, and that included Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.
But then Cutler rolled into town, and all that changed because ... well, because he couldn't miss. In fact, his only second-half incompletion was a pass to the end zone that initially was ruled pass interference on Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr -- only to be reversed after replays revealed the ball had been tipped.
So that miss made Cutler -- let's see here -- 11-for-12 in the second half, with 219 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 158.3 -- which, just happens, is a perfect score in the NFL.
In this case, the numbers weren't misleading. Cutler was that good.
"I thought Jay played outstanding ball," coach Lovie Smith said, "(and) in order for that to happen, the protection upfront ... we had to play a good game. So the line did a great job, gave him time and allowed him to hit the receivers, especially Brandon Marshall, who really kind of showed up."
Yeah, I'd say that's about right. He has more than twice as many catches as anyone else in a Chicago uniform, and more than twice as many yards, too. But that's why the Bears traded for the guy. He's supposed to do that. And Cutler is supposed to find him -- if, that is, he has the time.
On Monday he did.
Granted, Cutler was sacked twice and lost a fumble the first time he was hit. But most of the time he operated with no little or no pressure, taking the second sack late in the mismatch when he dropped to his knees after failing to find an open receiver. It was the Jay Cutler we did not see in Green Bay, and it was the Jay Cutler the Bears have been waiting on.
He never looked better, and, frankly, rarely have the Bears.
"I think we did pretty well," said left tackle J'Marcus Webb. "We definitely made some mistakes. You're never going to have a perfect game. To go out there and be physical, keep fighting and keep working is definitely the goal. Progress is good."
You might remember Webb. He's the lineman beaten for three sacks in the loss to Green Bay, and he's the poor guy Cutler berated walking off the field. On Monday, TV cameras caught Cutler on the sidelines walking away from offensive coordinator Mike Tice after he tried to sit down with him, and that seemed like a developing story until, of course, Cutler and the offensive line defused it in the second half.
In fact, when Cutler walked off after hitting Marshall with a 31-yard kill shot in the fourth quarter, Tice walked on the field to meet him, and Cutler gave his coach a light fist pump to the chest.
Both smiled, and they should. Because now we know what happens when the Bears protect Cutler.
"The offensive line played extremely well," Cutler said. "We've just got to take that momentum and keep moving with it. In this league, it's about consistency."
The Bears found it Monday, and I don't know if that's an aberration or the beginning of something bigger. All I know is that it's nothing but good for Chicago and its quarterback.