I was talking to some friends that brought up the option of trading for Jay Cutler. They thought that an Orton plus draft pick for Cuter would be a good trade. The idea being that Cutler has a strong arm and could be the boost that the Bears need to get the offense going.
I haven’t watched Cutler over the past year, so I decided to look at his stats and do some comparison. Looking for the things that could be trouble in Cutler coming to Chicago.
The first thing I noticed were the records. Cutler was 8-8, Orton was 9-6 last season. The Broncos had a worse defense than the Bears last season, so that needs to be considered when looking at Cutler’s record in 08.
Then I looked at individual ratings. This is where Cutler stood out from Orton. Cutler threw 25TD with 18INT, 4526 yards, a 62.3 Comp %, and a 86 RATG. Orton threw 18TDs with 12 INT, 2,972 yards, a 58.5 Comp %, and a 79.6 RATG.
Next, I averaged out the passing defense rankings that they faced in the 08 season. Cutler went against the 19.875 ranked, which is the Rams or rounded up to the 49ers. Orton saw the 16th ranked pass defense, which was the Panthers. That is a considerable difference, which when added to a pass happy offense, would explain the yardage and TDs.
The Comp % would be a difference of Orton completing 18 more passes than he did in the entire season. That’s hardly a noticeable difference to even mention.
I also wanted to take a look at the rushing ranks for each team, since a ground game makes passing easier. I didn’t break down the rush defense rankings against, just the rushing ranking. The Broncos were #12 with a 4.8 average per carry, and the Bears were #24 with a 3.9 yard average. That’s a nice luxury that Cutler has in Denver.
Then I looked at offensive line ranking. Denver’s line is ranked 13th and the Bears were 28th. This was another big advantage Cutler had over Orton. Losing Williams before the season started, along with Metcalf being out for 4 games on a suspension, didn’t help an already suspect offensive line.
The next thing I checked was WR rankings. Out of the top 50 the Broncos had two. Brandon Marshall was #7 and Eddie Royal at #23, combining for 2,245 yards. The only Bear to make the list was Devin Hester at #49 for 665 yards. Obviously Cutler had much better receivers in Denver.
Another thing I checked was the performances against the different levels of competition. So I checked against the 21-31 ranked pass defense teams (worst), and the 1-20 ranked for each QB. Against the 31, 31, 29, 28, 28, 25, 24, 23, 21st ranked defenses (9 games)Cutler threw 17TDs and 12INT. Orton faced the 27, 27, 24, 23, and 21st ranked pass defenses (5 games) throwing 4TDs and 4INT. In the 1-20 ranked teams Cutler played the 16, 14, 13, 11, 10, 10, and 4th ranked teams (7 games).During those games Cutler threw 8Tds and 6INT.
Orton played against the 19, 18, 18, 17, 16, 12, 12, 6, 4, and 3rd ranked pass defenses(10 games). In those games he 13TDs and 9INT. What this showed me was that against the stronger teams Kyle threw a slightly higher TD per game average (KO 1.3 per game and JC 1.14). Interceptions were also a little higher for Orton(.9 per game) than Cutler(.857).
What I got of this was Cutler had a better offensive line, better running game, and a better receiving group. With all that said, he had a worse record and had stats that, when researched past the superficial, seem a lot like Orton’s.
So why do the Bears need Jay Cutler? If he couldn’t make it happen in Denver what makes him the solution in Chicago? If he’s a franchise QB, why are they looking at trading him? It just doesn’t add up to me. Like I said before, this is a rebuilding season. Let Orton have his shot, if he doesn’t work out this season what did we lose?