He hasn’t played in 16 games in five years, hasn’t thrown for over 4,000 yards in six years and hasn’t thrown over 20 touchdowns in three years and only led his team to the playoffs once. Yet, somehow, there is talk that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler could be on his way toward an MVP season in 2014. At least, according to his receiver Brandon Marshall.
When asked what to expect from the ninth-year quarterback, Marshall told NFL Network’s Michael Irvin on Wednesday that his quarterback will be named this year’s MVP.
“He’s the first one in the building, last one to leave now, his leadership is through the roof,” Marshall said. “He’s correcting the coaches. This is his offense. This is his organization, he’s running it, and I love it.”
Marshall may be drinking a little bit too much of the juice as the Bears prepare for their first preseason game next Friday against Philadelphia.
We’re talking about the same Jay Cutler that threw for just 2,621 yards with 19 touchdowns in just 11 games in 2013, another seasons shortened due to injuries. He’s only thrown for over 3,000 yards one in the last three seasons and played in 15 games twice in the last four. Last season, Cutler only threw for over 300 yards in just two games.
Just about everyone Twitter didn’t necessarily agree with Marshall’s prediction.
Brandon Marshall is seriously delusional if he *actually* believes this to be true: http://t.co/PI9ugmeimr
— Complex (@ComplexMag) July 31, 2014
Brandon Marshall believes Jay Cutler will win MVP in 2014 and I’m gonna lead the NFL in rushing — Joe Chapp (@JoeChappM1) July 30, 2014
Yet, maybe Marshall knows something else that we the fans don’t.
“I don’t know why they wouldn’t believe it,” Marshall added. “[But] this is a diferent person. I don’t know this guy. I don’t know this new Jay Cutler.”
Jay cutler is so different, Brandon Marshall said, he should go by a different name: ‘Joshua.’
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) July 30, 2014
There’s also the chance that working under offensive guru and second-year head coach Marc Trestman for another year will cut down on Cutler’s interceptions, let alone overall mistakes as he feels more comfortable in the offense.
Despite playing in just 11 games last year, Cutler finished with the second-highest completion percentage in Bears’ history (63.1) and posted a career-best 89.2 quarterback rating. The Bears were also sixth in the NFC in pass attempts last year.
“This is his offense.” -Brandon Marshall
With one of the league’s best possession receiving corps in Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson, tight end Martellus Bennett, along with running back Matt Forte, Cutler has various weapons around him to post as good, if not better numbers than his 2009 campaign, where he started and played all 16 games for Chicago (3,666 yards, 27 TD).
But there’s the catch, he has to play in all 16 regular-season games and make the playoffs to even qualify to be an MVP quarterback.
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, four quarterbacks whom have won six of the last seven MVP awards, have each thrown for over 20,000 yards in the last six years with a completion percentage over 64 percent. Cutler has thrown just shy of the 20,000 yard mark in the last six years with a 60.7 completion percentage.
Cutler, who was known for his lack of toughness (see 2010 NFC championship game), heated in-game, on-field exchanges with his coaches and teammates, may have turned a page for one main reason: he’s now a father of two sons. His wife, reality TV star Kristin Cavallari gave birth to their second son in May, meaning that Cutler has probably matured mentally as a man, let alone a professional quarterback.
It’s not impossible for Cutler to win the league’s MVP award. Training camp always gives teams senses of hope in many different aspects outside making the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl. If Cutler can stay healthy for an entire season, cut down his turnovers and play consistent, then Marshall may have one of the best predictions in recent NFL history.