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Columnist
So there's a bright side to this loss?
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/14/2009 12:30 AM

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GREEN BAY, Wis. - It could have been worse.

No, really, it could have absolutely been worse for the Bears.

So there is a bright side to Sunday night's horrific 21-15 loss to the Packers.

For example, Jay Cutler could have thrown 7 interceptions, but the Packers were kind enough to drop 3 sent right at their hands.

And Cutler can't possibly play this bad again, right? This has to be the bottom, so that's something.

The Bears' receivers have to run better routes, because they can't be this clueless all the time.

The playcalling can't get any more vanilla, so the offense is going to be more fun to watch.

Furthermore, while there were some casualties, including a dislocated wrist for Brian Urlacher, at least the Bears didn't lose Mike Brown to injury.

Don't let the fact that Brown doesn't work here anymore, or that he led the Chiefs in tackles Sunday, deter you from your appointed optimism.

And best of all, Rex is still not our quarterback - though it sure looked like it at times Sunday night.

See, while Kyle Orton was constantly shredded for looking dull and lacking creativity, Orton at least protected the football while knowing his receiving corps was among the worst in football.

Cutler was full of creativity Sunday night, constantly forcing the ball when under pressure and trying to thread the needle when the hole was even smaller than that, something he often tried in Denver.

What the Bears need is a quarterback who has the confidence of Brett Favre without the carelessness of Rex Grossman. What they don't need is the savior you've been sold, or the Superman who left his cape at home.

They just need Cutler to be Cutler, use his great physical gifts, take what's given him and hope the defense can play as well as it did for most of the game Sunday.

That's how teams get to the Super Bowl these days.

Cutler will be fine, but you had to be a bit scared coming in when the cheerleading got as loud as it did before he'd thrown a real pass, when he'd been crowned not just the best QB the Bears have ever seen, but among the best in NFL history.

You wonder if that had some effect of him.

He'll learn from this, get better and have some monster games, knowing some of the picks Sunday were as a result of bad routes and miscommunication.

But it's no coincidence that when Cutler stopped pressing and started accepting what the defense offered, he got on a very confident and quiet roll, and the Bears took the lead with a chance to win the game.

What hurt Bears fans is that Cutler is 0-1 while the men with whom he will be compared all season - Orton, Favre and Aaron Rodgers - are all 1-0.

What those three had in common Sunday was zero interceptions and a carefully managed game that gave their clubs a chance to win.

Jay Cutler doesn't have to be boring to be effective, but he does have to be responsible, and we're betting he figures that out.

In the meantime, there's 15 games left. And the real good news is it can't possibly get any worse than this.