Is Cutler’s Record Against 3-4 Defenses Cause for Concern vs. Packers?

The word from Wisconsin is that the Packers switched to the 3-4 defense soon after the Bears acquired Jay Cutler due to his 2 and 6 record against that defense as a Bronco. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.

But if Cutler’s past performances against teams that ran the 3-4 are any indication, Packers players and fans may be welcoming the Bears new franchise QB with open arms.

In his 2.5-year career, Cutler is 2-6 against teams who run predominantly 3-4 defenses. Even though he set Denver passing records last year, he struggled against 3-4 teams (aside from the first game vs. San Diego). Here’s the proof based on 4 games in 2008:

Opp.

Result

Score

Comp/Att

Yards

TD/INT

Rating

SD

W

39-38

36-50

350

4-1

109.6

NE

L

41-7

17-26

168

1-2

64.3

MIA

L

26-17

24-46

307

2-3

60.7

SD

L

52-21

33-49

316

1-2

74.9

While these numbers may appear Grossman-like on the surface, consider these 4 important facts:

  1. FACT: Denver had one of the worst defenses in the league last year and Cutler was often playing catch-up or in the middle of an offensive shootout.

  2. FACT: The Broncos went through 6 (yes, a half-dozen) different starting running backs and never generated a strong enough running attack to keep opposing defenses honest.

  3. FACT: Lovie’s Bears “get off the bus running” and it’s unlikely Jay will have to throw the ball 50 times like he did against SD last year (twice).

  4. FACT: This will be the Pack’s first “official” game in their swanky new defense, so I’m guessing we can expect a mental breakdown or two.

So rest easy Bears fans. While the above statistics are a bit disheartening, let’s see how this one plays out before we make any final conclusions…or at least wait till after week 2. That’s when we face another team that plays the 3-4 – the defending champion Steelers.

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