Updated: November 2, 2013 6:28AM
The same fact that was disconcerting Sunday afternoon was spun as promising Monday morning: Quarterback Jay Cutler made fundamental mistakes against the Lions that are fixable, coach Marc Trestman said.
“The turnovers and some of the under- and over-throws were more fundamentals than they were a lack of execution or reading coverage, things like that,” Trestman said Monday after watching film at Halas Hall. “I think that they’re correctable — and I think he’ll go back to work and work on those things.”
It wasn’t just the three interceptions and the one fumble that bothered Cutler and Trestman after the 40-32 loss.
When coach and quarterback watched film, they saw footwork and throwing-motion mistakes.
“I had probably a little bit more to do with this loss,” an accountable-but-upbeat Cutler said on his weekly radio show, “than those three wins.”
In the second quarter, Cutler threw off his back foot looking for Brandon Marshall up the right sideline.
The Lions were in man coverage, but Cutler’s pass hung in the air long enough to be picked by safety Glover Quin, who returned the ball to the 2-yard line, leading to a Detroit touchdown.
“I just underthrew it,” said Cutler, who denied reports he was sick before the game but said he wouldn’t admit it even if he were.
On the third-quarter fumble caused by Ndamukong Suh and returned for a score by Nick Fairley, Cutler held the ball low with only one hand.
“He’s got to have it in two hands,” Trestman said. “And he’s got to throw it away or move on.”
Cutler said, simply: “Get rid of the ball.”
The quarterback’s fundamentals betrayed him several other times Sunday:
◆ At the 47-yard line with 20 seconds left in the first half, Cutler had Brandon Marshall open 18 yards down the middle of the field but bounced the pass.
◆ Later in the drive, on first-and-goal from the 10, Cutler overthrew Martellus Bennett on a seam route, carrying him through the back of the end zone.
“Overthrown by Jay,” Trestman said.
◆ On third-and-five from the 7-yard line in the third quarter, Cutler threw a jump ball to Alshon Jeffery in the end zone that hit cornerback Darius Slay in the back of the helmet.
“The ball was a little low,” Trestman said.
Rather than touchdowns, the Bears settled for field goals on both drives — a difference of eight points that matched the final deficit.
“I don’t think what happened means that it has to happen next week or the week after,” Trestman said. “It could, but we’re working to prevent those situations from happening. We got guys committed to do that.”
Cutler was particularly annoyed with his third-quarter interception, one of two to Louis Delmas. On third-and-18, he rolled right, stepped toward the line of scrimmage and threw the ball 10 feet over Jeffery’s head.
Cutler said he was “accustomed to making those throws” on the run.
Trestman called them “throws that we see him make every day” the right way.
“Under duress, guys [were] literally wide open,” he said, “and [Cutler] just misses.”
Both Cutler and Trestman praised the offensive line despite center Roberto Garza’s claim that poor pass protection prohibited the quarterback from following through on his throws.
“It comes down to us protecting and allowing him to,” Garza said. “He scrambled around way too much. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t stop those guys.”
Cutler said the unit played “great,” despite allowing three sacks, because the trailing Bears threw almost exclusively in the second half.
“I missed some throws,” he said, “that I usually make.”