Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is 21st in the NFL with a passer rating of 84.2, and his numbers obviously haven't been all that impressive.
Asked about not putting up the sort of numbers he did with the Broncos, Cutler said, "Our defense couldn't do the things that we're doing now in Denver.
"We weren't the No. 1 ranked, so we had to go out there and score points. We had to push the ball down the field."
Later, Cutler said, "I'm not really worried about my stats or where I am in your guys' eyes."
Regardless, the Bears need Cutler to play well down this stretch. The first challenge is against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that's ranked ninth in the NFL and is solid against the run and the pass.
"Very good. Very sound. Got a good scheme," Cutler said of the Eagles' defense. "They're going to show you a lot of different things. They're going to bring some safeties. Great linebackers. They've got a lot of odd blitzes. You've got to be careful of Asante [Samuel] over there, he's playing really well. Overall, a strong defense."
Other thoughts from Cutler:
* On Bears defense: "I've said it all year long. The defense has been carrying this team. Whenever the offense catches up to them, we're going to be where we want to be."
* On what has improved third down conversion rate: "I think Mike [Martz] has got a really good feel for what we can do and what we can't do, third-down wise. We've cut down a little bit of stuff, but for the most part, we're protecting really well. We're hitting our hots. We're doing everything we're supposed to be doing."
* On Michael Vick: "I haven't gotten to see him at all, really. But just knowing him and watching him over the years, it's his athletic ability. It's hard to simulate in practice. You don't see that every day, defense wise, a guy that can throw it as well as he can but also has the ability to break the pocket. It's hard to defend."
* On mastering Martz's offense: "I don't know. I haven't thought about it. I'm not going to think about. We're worried about Philadelphia and getting that game plan in."
* On local weather in late November and December: "We talk about it every year at the beginning of the year. In November, December, you're going to have to be able to run the ball. Our field gets pretty sloppy. The wind picks up. It's going to be hard to throw the ball. We've got to be able to stop the run, which the defense has done a fabulous job all year, and we've got to be able to run the ball."
* On Johnny Knox: "He's the kind of guy you've got to quietly account for him defensively, because if not, he'll get going. He's got so much speed in that second level that he'll get away from you in a hurry. He's doing a really good job over there at X. I think he's getting better and better with his routes. He's getting better and better at learning the offense. He's still a young player in the league, so to have to learn two different offenses as quickly as he's had to learn them is tough."