Interactive graphic: Jay Cutler’s stats when returning from an injuryContinue reading.
Interactive graphic: Breaking down defenses Cutler, McCown faced
On the surface, backup quarterback Josh McCown’s numbers are better then Jay Cutler’s. But are they really?
For a little perspective, let’s compare the quality of defense each has gone up against in games they have started. On average, Cutler faced defenses that were the No. 18, while McCown went up defenses that averaged out slightly worse(21st).
The best defense McCown faced was the Packers (11th), while Cutler went up against two top 10 defenses in the Steelers (10th) and Saints (6th).
One thing McCown did as a starter was take advantage of bad defenses — they got worse each week he started — and his QB rating continued to go up, peaking with his best game of the season against the 32nd-ranked Cowboys. Cutler on the other had his best game of the season (358 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT and a 128.1 QB rating) against the No. 6-ranked Saints.
Here’s a breakdown of how each quarterback has fared against opposing defenses:
*Defensive rankings are taken from the week the Bears played that team; Cutler’s stats do not include Week 1, since there were no defensive rankings. His start vs. the Redskins, where he was knocked out out early also was eliminated for comparison purposes.