Quick hits: Cutler, Brady, Luck, playoffs
Some quick hits from around the NFL on Sunday morning . . .
-- Jay Cutler (ankle) returns to the starting lineup as the Bears’ quarterback, but this is a very risky deal for head coach Marc Trestman. While Trestman is convinced that Cutler is a more accomplished quarterback than 34-year-old journeyman Josh McCown, it’s McCown who has the hot hand right now with 13 touchdowns and only one interception in Cutler’s injury-related absences. Cutler hasn’t played since Nov. 10.
-- With three weeks to play, there are 25 teams in playoff contention, the fourth-highest total at this point of a season since the NFL instituted the 16-game season in 1978. The most in a non-strike season with three games left: 27 each in 2004 and 1995.
-- With a win on Sunday against the Dolphins, Tom Brady would get to 147 career victories, tying him with Dan Marino for the fourth most wins by a quarterback in league history. Brett Favre (186) is first, followed by Peyton Manning (165) and John Elway (148).
-- Colts quarterback Andrew Luck with Reggie Wayne in the lineup this season: 60.7 completion percentage, 10 touchdown passes, three interceptions. Without Wayne (knee): 56.7 completion percentage, nine TD passes and five INTs.
-- Not a compelling schedule for the NFL this weekend. Only two games (Baltimore-Detroit and New England-Miami) feature both teams with winning records.