Five-game winning streak. An O-line finally protecting its quarterback by only allowing 1.3 sacks per game instead of 4.7. An inspired running game lead by an equally inspired yet underpaid running back. A special teams that is consistent and explosive. A defense that is showing signs of its monster history. And now, Cutler possibly out for the season with a broken thumb.
Verhei on ESPN’s Football Outsiders stated this morning…”We don’t have a lot of data on Chicago’s new starter; he’s had just 16 pass plays in the regular season. His player page at Football Outsiders shows that the most similar passer to Hanie over the past two seasons is Aaron Rodgers in 2006-07, the last two seasons the Green Bay quarterback backed up Brett Favre. Is that a sign Hanie is about to put up MVP numbers?”
I’m not holding my breath. For one (and this is tough to type), Caleb Hanie is not backing Brett Favre. He’s not learning from a QB considered to be one of the top 10 of all time. He hasn’t been quietly creating his own arsenal by studying the mistakes of his leader, particularly the high percentage of interceptions. He hasn’t been biding his time, waiting for that moment to prove he has what it takes to lead the team. Or has he?
I guess we’ll soon find out. Until then, until Hanie performs a miracle and keeps the Bears in the running and improves upon their 7-3 record, I’ll attempt to soothe my soul with thoughts of how great it was while it lasted and squint my eyes toward a very distant future.