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posted: 8/26/2014 5:18 AM

Is Cutler less effective than his backups?

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  • Although Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown completed 13 of 16 passes in his third preseason game with the Bucs, he has 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in his three starts.

      Although Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown completed 13 of 16 passes in his third preseason game with the Bucs, he has 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in his three starts.

  • Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer (2) throws against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half of an preseason NFL football game, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

      Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer (2) throws against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half of an preseason NFL football game, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

Most of what I heard over the weekend about the Chicago Bears' loss to the reigning Super Bowl champs was about the inefficiency of the defense and the less-than-ordinary play by special teams.

As the NFL preseason winds down, Bears fans should have some hope, but there is also despair thanks to a staunch offense that could only score six points in this dress rehearsal game.

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The Seattle Seahawks have what the Bears don't: a balance between their defense, special teams and offense.

Does it seem that when Jay Cutler's backups are in the game, be it Josh McCown last year or this year's backups, that they play outplay the Bears starting quarterback?

To me, it seems Cutler is less effective than the No. 2 guy behind him, whoever it happens to be. I've said many times that a McCown-led Bears team with great position players such as Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery would fare well this year. And there would have been money left over to solidify the defense and perhaps sign Devin Hester.

I'd like to also remind everyone the Bears would probably have made the playoffs last year if McCown had been allowed to finish the season.

The Bears, however, would have none of that.

Nope, the sullen Jay Cutler took over and the Bears lost their shot at the playoffs.

By the way, ex-Bears coach Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are thrilled with McCown. who won Sunday's game against Buffalo going 13 of 16 for 112 yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

Take a good look at the Buc's offensive roster. There isn't one skilled position player that could play on the Bears offense except for the quarterback.

Even the recently cut Jordan Palmer had a more efficient game against Seattle with a rating of 80.4 while Cutler was 64, and the newly named No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Clausen had a 74.3.

Are the Bears playoff ready? I'd like to think so, but it didn't seem like it Friday night, though they did play a great team.

Mike Harmon, Fox Sports radio's fantasy expert, says that McCown, if he was on the Bears roster, would de drafted around 15 or 16 -- pretty much the same as Cutler. The skill position players such as Forte and Marshall would go much higher, which often is the case in fantasy drafts.

I know it's only fantasy football, but what does that tell you? Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are royalty. Cutler -- well he might be the captain of the guard.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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