Bears vs. Browns 2013: Jay Cutler bails out Marc Trestman with second-half surge

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Things could have gotten ugly in Chicago had Trestman's decision to start Cutler over Josh McCown backfired.

For a few minutes there, it looked as though Marc Trestman and Jay Cutler were going to be subjected to some medieval form of humiliation and banishment. Perhaps a day in the stocks in downtown Chicago or a good old-fashioned tar and feathering down Michigan Avenue. Or maybe just run out of town with torches and pitchforks.

Instead, Cutler overcame two early interceptions to lead the Chicago Bears to a 38-31 win over the Cleveland Browns and legitimize Trestman's decision to start him over the red-hot Josh McCown.

McCown had filled in brilliantly for Cutler while the starting quarterback was sidelined for over a month with an ankle injury. The decision to return to Cutler once he healed up was a controversial one that had message boards and talk shows buzzing all week in Chicago.

Windy City Gridiron exemplifies the torn mindset of the fan base before and during the game:

I'll admit I am a Jay Cutler fan, and I think he's the right guy for the job. I told several people before the game that he clearly has to get this start. You have to see him if you're going to move forward, but further more, he's got that extra thing that you might need to win games down the stretch. I try not to be an apologist though. That said, I was good with him starting, and I would've been ok with him on a short leash. If Trestman had decided to make a move at half, I'd have understood it.

Cutler, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season, went 22-of-31 with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 102.2 in his return.

Cleveland's quarterback was notably less productive, with Jason Campbell throwing two picks and finishing with a rating of 67.6. Writes Chris Pokorny at Dawgs by Nature:

The story of this game on offense was Campbell having another one of his "off" games. At first, he didn't target Gordon at all, and when he did, the passes were thrown ahead of him by a step. Some people will say that Gordon's effort is down, but a guy can't make a one-handed stab every time.

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