You could go with the short answer: QB Jay Culter - 4 INTs; QB Aaron Rodgers - zero. But I wanted to look a little deeper.
- If the Bears were going to fail with Cutler, I expected it would happen because offensive coordinator Ron Turner would turn Cutler into a QB Kyle Orton type check down machine. Instead the Bears let Cutler fire downfield, and it was the Vikings who turned QB Brett Favre into Captain Checkdown.
- After the Sunday night game, Tom Silverstein said (via Brad Biggs) "Brett Favre was back." That might be true, but that might be bad for the NFC North. This game reminded me of Favre's first game in 2003. That season, Mike Sherman let Favre sit out most of the preseason, and he had to shake off the rust during a 3 INT first half against the Vikings. I was surprised the Bears only let Cutler throw 44 passes this preseason. For comparison, he threw 36 passes on Sunday night. He needed a lot more time with his new offense and new receivers, and the Bears didn't give it to him. By the way; Favre ended up leading the NFL in 2003 with 32 TD passes.
- Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell, from deep behind the ESPN insider wall, ranked Cutler as the 3rd worst QB on Sunday, behind only QB Matt Stafford and QB Jake Delhomme, said it just looked like the timing and communication was off, and this might turn out to be his worst game as a Bear.
- After a nearly perfect preseason, it was disappointing to see he only had a QB rating of 92 in the game. It's also hard to believe that a 92 QB rating, no matter how imperfect a rating system it is, could be disappointing. Again from Bill Barnwell; a disappointing game still ranks him 15 out of 30 QBs who played on Sunday.
- It was almost a brillant game, if he could have connected on two big passes that were overthrown. He was long on a deep pass to WR Donald Driver in the 1st half, then another deep ball to WR Jordy Nelson in the 2nd. Those are passes I expect he'll make, and he made them all preseason, so at this point just ignore them as being part of a small sample size.
- And I'm willing to give him a mulligan for the entire game due to the collapse of RT Allen Barbre. His struggles made it impossible for the offense to get into a rhythm. When Rodgers finally got some time to throw, he hit WR Greg Jennings on a 50 yard TD pass. Despite our hopes and dreams that there might be an alternative, Mike McCarthy said Barbre will start again on Sunday against the Bengals.