Jay Cutler Proves Himself a Leader in a Big Win & Other NFC North News

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears raises his arms to quiet the crowd as the Bears go for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 28-10. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Between the poor outing of Jason Campbell and Jay Cutler's triumphant return on Sunday, one thing is abundantly clear:

Jay Cutler is far more valuable than many give him credit for.

Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com points out that while others will have better stats, Cutler had several moments where he proved himself a leader.

As the injuries pile up and the division race tightens up, the Bears will need that.

It might seem silly, but even something as small as tying J'Marcus Webb's shoelace shows his impact.

After two poor outings, one of which left Cutler concussed in the first place, you might expect the quarterback to be a bit skittish and short with his offensive line.

While he certainly had his moments, it's also very clear that for him, it's not personal—it's business.

Which brings us back to his shoelace moment with Webb. Isaacson quoted Brandon Marshall and while you might take what he says with a grain of salt given how tight the two are, the quote is telling.

"[That will] probably be on 'SportsCenter,'" Marshall said. "I don't know if it was Cutler-like, but it was cool and we were all cheering in the huddle."

The emphasis is mine. 

Consider that this is just the one thing we saw because it happened during the game. I'm not going to sell you that he's some cuddly monkey off the field every day. We know he's prickly.

What I will sell you on is, maybe the side we saw yesterday—what Cutler joked was his fatherly instincts kicking in—is a lot more common than we give it credit for.

What constitutes a good leader? Sometimes, it's screaming at an offensive lineman who is getting you killed.

Sometimes, it's tying that same guy's shoelace.

I think we need to acknowledge that Cutler can do them both.

Even if he doesn't always do them where the cameras can see.

On to the rest of the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

Injuries are piling up for the Bears according to Dan Pompei of the Tribune, and it could become a problem.

ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson gives us five things he learned from the Bears' win over the Vikings.


Detroit Lions

MLive.com's Justin Rogers says Riley Reiff has some work to do as a left tackle.

The Detroit News' Chris McCosky says the Lions' franchise is at a crossroads and has some decisions to make.


Green Bay Packers

CheeseheadTV.com's Max Ginsberg gives you his take on what happened in last night's loss to the New York Giants.

The Journal-Sentinel's Tom Silverstein breaks down what went wrong—and there was a lot—with the Packers' offensive game plan last night.


Minnesota Vikings

Tom Pelissero grades yesterday's effort by the Vikings a big fat 'F' and I get the feeling he graded on a curve over at 1500 ESPN.

Even Adrian Peterson had a poor outing, from missing the team bus to fumbling twice, according to the Star-Tribune's Mark Craig. 


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