Last season the Denver Broncos stood at 7-4 after 11 games. They were on a two-game losing streak and decided that it was time for their rookie quarterback, Jay Cutler, to finally take control of the team. Cutler started the final five games of the season, winning two and losing three as the Broncos averaged a healthy 24.8 pts per game over that stretch.
Culver finished with 1001 passing yards on a 59.1% completion rate, nine touchdowns, five interceptions and a QB rating of 88.5. A pretty good performance for a rookie quarterback, but it went mostly unrecognized by fantasy players. With Cutler's play coming over the final few weeks of the fantasy season and the fantasy playoffs, there weren't many owners willing to turn over their fantasy fortunes to an unproven rookie.
If Cutler can put up similar numbers this season, more owners will be taking notice. Project Cutler's numbers out to a full 16 game season and you have 3203 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. That's comparable to Tom Brady's 2006 totals of 3529 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. That's right; I'm saying a full season of Jay Cutler could be very Brady-like. Although probably with fewer impregnated models.
Now before you say it's not entirely fair to project out an entire season on five games, those five games covered a range of opponents (San Diego, Cincy, Seattle, San Fran and Arizona) and locations (three home games, two away). It may not be a statistically valid sample, but I think it's a representative sample good enough for our purposes..
The Broncos have brought in resurgent running back Travis Henry to lead the ground game and have fantasy stud Javon Walker heading up the receiving corps. Cutler also has veteran Rod Smith (though he's injured), second year man Brandon Marshall and former Colt Brandon Stokely to catch the ball, so he has plenty of support. Daniel Graham was signed to a five-year contract and provides an immediate upgrade at tight end.
Cutler seems likely to be a Top Ten fantasy quarterback and may even be a Top 5 quarterback when the season is over. All the pieces are in place in this offense for Cutler to excel.