Originally written on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Bears_cutler_passes_4233
It takes a special team to collapse in the NFL. You need a mechanically and emotionally erratic quarterback, a quiet and laid back coach who won't ever bring the collapse to the team's attention or try to do something about it, and in Chicago's case, an offensive line that appears to be a group of double agents for the opposing team's defense. No team has exemplified collapsing better than the 2011 and 2012 Chicago Bears. In 2011, they started the season off 7-3 through Week 11, which presumably meant they needed about four more wins to make the playoffs. But of course, Chicago went 1-5 in their last six games and missed out on that opportunity. In 2012, The Bears looked like a definite lock for the playoffs in Week 9, going 7-1 in that span. But then the perfect storm hit Chicago once again, and they finished the season 3-5 to miss the playoffs for the second year in a row. So what has gone wrong in Chicago the past two years to account for such dismal collapses? Erratic quarterback? Check. Laid back coach? Check. Double agents on the line? Check. First, let's start with the quarterback. The quarterback of a team is the leader even if he is a rookie. It is just how the hierarchy of an NFL team operates. The team is going to mirror the actions of the quarterback because he is the leader. But the problem with Chicago is their leader is this guy. What is almost more important than Cutler's stats is the way he holds himself and leads this team. Cutler is off the hook in 2011 because he got hurt right when the team began to implode, which is obviously a major reason for the implosion, but 2012 is a different story. The biggest problem with Cutler statistically is his love for the interception. In 2012, he ranked tied for 12th in the league with 14 interceptions, but what is key is that nine of those interceptions were thrown in the six losses that season. But what is almost more important than Cutler's stats is the way he holds himself and leads this team. Watch up to the 1:30 mark of this video and you will get a glimpse of his "Eh, we'll figure it out soon enough" attitude. But in football and all sports, while a confident attitude is important, a sense of urgency is equally as important. And when Cutler is out there throwing picks and the game away, he does not seem to be too worried. So what kind of effect do you think that will have on the rest of the team? That kind of attitude can cripple a team and it is obvious that it is one of the reasons Chicago collapsed in 2012. But when a team lacks leadership out of the quarterback position, it must be able to lean on the head coach. And it seems that the Bears could not get that from Lovie Smith either. He has proved to be a fantastic defensive mind, but as a leader of men, he did not do too well. The collapses and underachievement year after year are a perfect example of this. Smith seemed like the ultimate players' coach who was too laid back for his team's good. And when the collapses began, Smith did not have the control to stop them in their path. And that is why, even though the Bears finished 10-6, Smith was fired last season. If the Bears collapse again, then we will know that Cutler is the real issue. But the major issue for the Bears the last couple of seasons was not Smith or even Cutler. The biggest problem for Chicago is that they could not protect Cutler, and good teams are going to take advantage of that. But in the past offseason, they finally did something about the putrid offensive line by signing Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson in free agency and drafting Kyle Long in the first round. Chicago also hired offensive guru Mark Trestman as Head Coach in the offseason, which will put more of an emphasis on the offensive game plan, something that has been lacking in previous seasons under Smith and former offensive coordinator Mike Tice. So, they fixed the head coach and offensive line issue this season, but what about the quarterback issue? Nope, Jay Cutler is still slinging it for Chicago and it does not seem like that will change any time soon. He has had a decent start to the season, but the Bears have started 3-0 and are off to a hot start once again. The real question here is, will they collapse once again? If they do, then we will know that the problem is not as much Smith's inadequacies as a coach or the line's adept ability to transform into a turnstile, but that Cutler is the real issue. It will be interesting to follow this team to see if they return to their roots of collapsing. But with Jay Cutler leading this team, does anyone really know?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.