On Friday, I pointed out that the team photo on the Denver Broncos' website was taken in 2007 -- and once again this morning, the site is notably behind-the-times. When I searched for passing stats in the Broncos' 17-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night, I came up with numbers for starter Kyle Orton and Chris Simms, who looked okay in backup duty. But the page's right side featured a box labeled "Broncos Team Leaders" -- and at this writing, the top listing, complete with photo, reads, "Jay Cutler, 0 yds., 0 TD."
In truth, Cutler wasn't quite that mediocre in his Chicago Bears debut against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night -- but neither was he anything close to outstanding. His stat line: five completions in ten attempts for a measly 64 yards (yep, an average gain of 6.4 yards per attempt), with one interception and at least two more than should have been picked off. Indeed, even the Bears' website concedes that the squad (and, by association, Cutler) has room to improve -- which explains why Bears loyalists are gnashing their teeth right now. Then again, Broncos fans likely chewed their nails down to their fingers' second joint after watching Orton. Granted, twelve of his sixteen passes were caught -- but three of them were snared by the 49ers. And although he looked serviceable at times, he seemed confused and clueless just as often. By that measure, Cutler, who at least appeared consistently confident, won the weekend battle over the man he'll be compared with all season long. But the margin of victory was so slight as to be both insignificant and dispiriting for everyone involved.