Jay Cutler is known for being reckless throwing the football, the Chicago Bears quarterback has certainly earned a reputation as a gunslinger in every meaning of the word. And given the play of New York Giants safety Landon Collins this season, Cutler’s risky playing style might create problems this Sunday.
Collins, in his second year in the league, is having a breakout season for the Giants as the second round pick is playing at or near a Pro Bowl level. Collins has 74 tackles this year and four interceptions, all of which have come in the last three games. He leads the Giants in both categories.
Cutler has three touchdowns and four interceptions this year in what has been a letdown season for the Bears. But Cutler threw two interceptions last week in a loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he will need to be careful with a ballhawk like Collins in the back end.
“Physical guy. Heck of a football player. They use him in a lot of different ways. He's good on the edge, good in coverage, they drop him down to linebacker level and have him fill gaps,” Cutler said on Wednesday in a conference call with the New York media. “You can tell he brings a lot of energy to that defense.”
It is ironic that given the Giants offseason spending spree on their defense that their star was a holdover player from last year’s unit.
This offseason, the Giants spent plenty to upgrade what was ranked as the league’s worst pass-defense a year ago. They brought in cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who has been solid, as well as adding veteran cornerback Leon Hall and safety Darian Thompson in the NFL Draft.
Thompson is out for the year with an injury but the secondary under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is vastly improved from last year and Collins has been at the center of that turnaround for the Giants.
“I have known Steve forever. I think it is a well-coached defense. They went out and put a premium on secondary people, and I think it was currency well spent. I think that is kind of the strength,” Bears head coach John Fox said on Wednesday. “They have two good edge rushers, actually a wave of them that they roll through there. They are big and solid in the middle and when you combine that with the coverage skills of the back end people, you have got a good defense.”