DeAngelo Hall Puts The Chicago Bears To Sleep, Jay Cutler Stays In Dreamland
Only respect could be thrown to Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall after tying an NFL record for picking off four passes in one game in the Redskins 17-14 win over the Chicago Bears yesterday, which included a career long 92-yard game winning return off one swipe.
Hall has already been nominated for NFL defensive player of the week in the first week of the season. He had eight tackles, two defended passes, then forced a fumble, recovered it, then ran 32 yards for the winning points in the Redskins 13-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Most NFL fans would look at the 27-year old Hall, who already has 31 interceptions and six touchdowns in his seven NFL seasons so far, and give him at least the respect of being considered an above average defender.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a different impression, it appears. " I'd go at him every time." was his response to the question on why he kept testing Hall. Cutler was forced to throw the ball 40 times, even though the Bears averaged close to five yards per carry with their running backs. The game plan was to keep firing away, per offensive coordinator Mike Martz's instructions.
Not often does a player get to lead the league in interceptions this deep into the year after just one previous pick. Cutler claims he would go after Hall if the Bears were to face the Redskins tomorrow.Hall would like for this to happen as well. It would give him a chance to go after the NFL record of 14 interceptions in a season, set by Hall of Famer Richard "Night Train" Lane.
Instead of saying he would attack a guy who victimized him four times, including once that cost his team the game, Cutler should work on his stubbornness. None of Hall's interceptions were extremely difficult, in fact they looked like gifts lollipopped into his bosom off of Cutler's charitable arm.
Some may point to the Bears struggling offensive line, which gave up four sacks. The Redskins line struggles itself, and gave up two sacks along with two interceptions. In a sloppy game that saw nine turnovers, Washington also enjoyed great fortune. Their players fumbled six times, but only lost one to Chicago.
DeAngelo Hall might shake Jay Cutler's hand, but it might be hard to do with the Bears signal callers back turned to him. Cutler may not want to acknowledge the NFL record he helped tie, and continue to say he'd go after Hall time and time again. He claims, ""I've played against Hall before. There's no reason to shy away from him."
Facts show Cutler has only opposed him once in a regular season game before yesterday. It was the first week of the 2008 season when Hall played for the Oakland Raiders and Cutler was with the Denver Broncos. Cutler tossed two scores in 24 attempts as the Broncos won 41-14.
If Cutler is parlaying his expertise on that lone meeting, on a team Hall was released from seven weeks later, then maybe the effects of past concussions suffered by him are more serious than previously thought. He also seems to neglect his 2008 Broncos coach, Mike Shanahan, now coaches Hall and might have filled the defensive back in on some habits to expect.
Maybe Cutler has the right idea to be a gunslinger without a memory. If the two face off again, it would be tough to expect Hall to match a record that has been around since 1943, when Hall of Fame Redskin Sammy Baugh first did it. There have been 17 players after Baugh to do it before Hall joined their select family this weekend.
Instead of throwing respect at Hall after a game where he was embarrassed by his stubbornness to try other defenders to pick on, Cutler chose a cocky approach. As several heads shake in wonderment at his bizarre point of view, Hall can thank Cutler for allowing him to be etched forever into NFL lore.