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Columnist
Amazing Cutler survived this long
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 10/3/2010 11:12 PM

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With 6:13 left in the second quarter Sunday night, it finally happened.

For the first time this season, Lovie Smith looked skyward in hopes of spotting that elusive spaceship that to this point has not arrived despite his many years of searching.

Not sure what he expects to find should that craft someday land on his sideline, but it's pretty obvious what he was hoping for Sunday.

The Giants were putting an absolute beating on Jay Cutler, which is nothing new this season, except this time Cutler was getting up slower each and every time he was thrown to the ground.

Smith had to be wishing the UFO showed up in New Jersey with a handful of offensive linemen that would help keep his quarterback from getting knocked into next week.

Neither happened.

Nothing arrived with help and no one could save Cutler.

After getting hit a shocking 30 times through three games, Cutler was hit eight more times in the first half and the last one finally accomplished the inevitable.

It was only a matter of time before Cutler was driven into the turf and from the game, and that happened on the Giants' ninth sack of the game.

Aaron Ross came on a corner blitz, hit Cutler from behind, threw him down and whipped his head to the turf.

Cutler handed off one more time and that was the end of the first half.

That was also the end of Cutler's night, as he walked slowly to the locker room where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

It's no shock, and the Bears had to know this was coming. If we all knew it, they had to know they were a single hit away from seeing their season go to pieces.

They got away with it the last two weeks when it looked like Cutler might not survive the first half, but some quick adjustments by Mike Tice and Mike Martz bought him two more games.

But there was no saving him Sunday night, when the 17th sack of 2010 and 38th hit in only 14 quarters finally knocked him out.

What's amazing is that it didn't happen sooner, because at least three earlier hits Sunday not to mention several from Dallas and Green Bay would have ended the game for a lesser man, but Cutler is as tough a QB as there is in football, and he stood in and took the beating as long as he possibly could.

Oddly, it was just a few days ago that Cutler was trying to convince us that he wasn't as tough as he appeared to be, and he hinted that if the hits kept coming, the result wasn't going to be very pleasant.

Not only was it prophetic, but it was also a plea for help.

Cutler didn't want to be tough. He wanted to stay upright and make good throws and win games.

But he knew that wasn't likely, and he knew what was coming.

It came. He went.

So the Bears (3-1) lost the game and their perfect record, but in danger now is Cutler's health and thus the Bears' season and their future.

Todd Collins was nothing short of comical before he was also helped to the sideline, which is exactly what you would expect from a senior citizen who hasn't played anything resembling a full season in the NFL since 1997.

He was horrible like Chad Hutchinson bad which is also what the Bears deserve for thinking they could get away with this offensive line and no backup quarterback.

The Bears were quite fortunate for three games.

Unfortunately for Jay Cutler, all their luck ran out Sunday.