Monday Night Musings

So — where was that Jay Cutler all this time?

As anyone who’s been a reader on this site is well aware, the Bears quarterback wasn’t anywhere on my Christmas card list this year.  But at least for one night, Jay Cutler is who Bears’ fans thought he might be.

That’s not to say he was perfect.  Cutler’s lone interception was a 2009 classic, an ill-advised throw into double coverage when he should have simply thrown the ball away.  But for most of the night, the beleaguered signal-caller showed flashes of why Chicago thought he was worth trading for in the off-season — and in one magical night at Soldier Field, he gave the weary fan base something to look forward to in 2010.  I’m not convinced he’s the answer for the team — it’ll take a lot more than an isolated performance for me to get on board with Cutler as the franchise’s future under center — but tonight hopefully was a start.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have shot themselves in the foot, possibly blowing the #2 seed and a first-round bye to the Eagles (if they beat Dallas this upcoming weekend).  Part of what made the Vikings attractive as a Super Bowl contender was the idea that they wouldn’t have to travel during the playoffs into cold weather (with the Saints and Vikings long looking like the top two seeds); now, however, a brutal road game in January in the City of Brotherly Love may await Minnesota — and that, I believe, would represent the end of their chances of being in Miami at the end of the season.

It’s hard to say what effect the Favre-Childress dust-up had on the team this week; the Vikings were clearly flat and lifeless in the first half, but they looked like a completely different team in the second half.  It took a Herculean effort by the Bears (and a collapse by the entire Minnesota defense) to hold them off.  With the Saints struggling mightily, the Vikings looking like they’re in trouble, and an Arizona team that I think lacks what it takes to go back to the Big Game, it may this weeks Eagles-Cowboys tilt that, not only decides the NFC East Champion, but the favorite from the conference to reach the Super Bowl.

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