Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears is a rare species seldom seen in Chicago—a quarterback who really and truly inspires confidence. At Sunday's preseason game in Denver, he engineered a nimble 98-yard touchdown drive that had everyone in this town wondering if it's actually safe to watch football again.
One of the stubbornest and most impressively consistent streaks in NFL history is Chicago's near-complete inability to put a serviceable quarterback on the field. Since the franchise's last premier quarterback, Sid Luckman, was revolutionizing the T-formation in the 1940s, the Bears have snapped the ball to a collection of spare parts and mediocrities who, among them, have never passed for 4,000 yards in a season. In 25 years, the team has started 30 quarterbacks—the most in the NFL—and thrown fewer touchdowns per season than any other team.