I’ll admit, I overreacted. And I bet some of you did, too.
When Jay Cutler was down on Soldier Field, appearing to wince in pain Monday night, I thought it would have large ramifications for not only that game but the season.
I was wrong.
The reality is that this winning thing is fragile. Just like most NFL quarterbacks.
So a moment such as the one after Ndamakung Suh threw Cutler to the turf in a very Suh (i.e. dirty) way, was one that had more than a few people worried.
But Cutler proved he wasn’t soft in a big way by coming back immediately, despite bruised ribs, and playing until he was sent to the locker room to have the injury examined just before halftime.
After looking miserable on his first throw, bouncing a short pass to Devin Hester, he didn’t show a lot of negative signs.
The Bears didn’t score another touchdown after the hit, but they did enough to win.
That’s got to be odd for Cutler, who is not exactly what anyone would consider a game manager quarterback.
But I’m sure it’s fine for Bears fans, whose team is 5-1, holding the third-best record in the NFL heading into another seemingly easy matchup with the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
To this point, the Bears have avoided any crazy, Ravens-like season-ending injuries.
But this team seems very vulnerable if it had one to a guy like Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Charles Tillman or even Tim Jennings.
Many teams could say that about their superstars, but the Bears really don’t have a ton of hope if those guys went away.
A good comparison would be the Bears’ main divisional competition, the Packers and Vikings.
Without Aaron Rodgers, we all know how good they would be (not very).
But without Charles Woodson, or Greg Jennings, the same isn’t true. Rodgers might be that one vulnerable spot.
The same might be said about the Vikings and Adrian Peterson, although you probably wouldn’t lump Christian Ponder or Percy Harvin in that category of irreplaceable. The Vikings won Sunday with only 58 yards passing.
For the Bears, however, those four are necessary.
That’s why I say to enjoy it now. Hope it continues. And hope they stay healthy.
Because a season like this could go up in smoke quickly.
The pick: Carolina hasn’t done much positive this season. And this doesn’t seem like the week that will change.
Cam Newton has spent more time talking about Warren Moon than the Bears this week. So he should be ripe for the Bears’ defense to take advantage.
Bears 28, Panthers 14