With good reason, the Patriots vs Saints match-up Sunday has two surefire Hall of Famers at QB and deserves the massive attention it will get. However, there’s another showdown involving veteran QBs, and their play Sunday may very well dictate whether the Dolphins or Chargers win.
Jay Cutler will make his Miami debut, but he is not completely unfamiliar with operating Adam Gase his offense. Cutler did so two seasons ago when Gase was offense of coordinator in Chicago and had a good year with 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. This bodes well for the Phins.
After an injury-riddled 2016 season where played poorly in the games he was in, and a lost season for the Bears, Cutler briefly retired. Gase and Miami coaxed him back to the NFL on the basis that he would be surrounded in Miami by weapons. Now, we find out, if he will play within the system.
Meanwhile, on the other sideline Philip Rivers at 35 years of age is clearly near the end of his career. Coming off of a three-touchdown game in the loss Monday night of the Broncos, Rivers should have one main objective in this rematch from last season with the Dolphins: don’t kill his own team with interceptions.
Rivers four 4th quarter picks completely swung the momentum and allowed Miami to have a 14-point rally to win. It was part of a bad 2016 trend for the Chargers. Rivers had five games a year ago where he threw at least two interceptions in them. The Chargers record in those five games? 0-5.
Now, for both quarterbacks they have solid run game options. The Dolphins obviously featuring Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi who had a breakout 2016 and is expected to be the focal point at least early in the season of their offense.
And the Chargers saw running back Melvin Gordon blossom in 2016 rushing for 997 yards, and have big plans for him this season.
So, both quarterbacks would be advised to not take the dangerous risk and beat themselves in this matchup.
However, knowing the” gunslinger mentality” of both Cutler and Rivers, this game will likely come down to someone making the big mistake in the second half.
After all, they’ve thrown almost 300 interceptions combined in their careers.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.