ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Jay Cutler Era in Chicago all but started with a thud.
The Bears' 27-20 loss to the Bills in their exhibition opener Saturday night was supposed to be a sneak peak of what type of firepower Cutler would inject into the offense.
Well, in 14 plays he never marched his team into the end zone, threw a head-scratching floater off his back foot that Leodis McKelvin picked off and nearly had another ill-advised throw intercepted by Reggie Corner.
Thank goodness this is the preseason.
"I feel fine," Cutler said with a smirk, shrugging off any sense of urgency. There's no reason for anybody to start to panic or anything like that. It's preseason.
"We have a lot of time until Green Bay (the regular season opener on Sept. 13). If we come out and play like this against Green Bay, then we will have some problems."
Cutler completed 5 of 10 passes for 64 yards, good for a 30.8 passer rating
. He displayed his cannon arm on pass plays to Devin Hester and Desmond Clark but also forced a pass between two defenders that fell incomplete and overthrew Hester deep.
While Cutler struggled without top target Greg Olsen (hip) and back Matt Forte (rest) in the lineup, the much-maligned defense looked somewhat improved under new play-caller Lovie Smith.