Obviously this is as about as much of a hypothetical construct could come up with, but the Miami Dolphins would have likely made the playoffs had Colin Kaepernick would have been their QB.
Now, there is no way to obviously prove this, but we can look at a few items that would seemingly make this speculation within an alternative universe true.
When starting QB Ryan Tannehill suffered his second straight ACL injury keeping him out of football for the entire season, a lot of folks had thought that the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick would end abruptly with the Dolphins singing the man. Instead the organization decided to reach out to Jay Cutler who retired at the end of the 2016 season because he had played for coach Adam Gase when Gase was OC for the Bears.
Obviously this right away was accepted across most within the media because of the obvious Cutler/Gase connection. However, it missed some other key aspects. Sure, Cutler would pick up the offense fast, it doesn’t mean that he was best suited for the personnel.
Let’s remember that Tannehill is a QB that has a certain level of mobility. Though he wasn’t a guy that would light up the stat sheet, he was able to extend plays with his leg, move outside the pocket and extend drives. In fact we saw that several times last season and with Tannehill and it was one of the reasons why the Dolphins made the playoffs last season.
Jay Cutler on the other hand isn’t a mobile QB. He’s a quintessential pocket passer. The Dolphins had inconsistent offensive line issues throughout the year and having an immobile QB is the worst remedy for that issue. Several of the sacks that Cutler and back up Matt Moore took this year would have been evaded by Tannehill and certainly by Kaepernick, who could have ended up turning those plays into positive plays.
Last season Kapernick had 16 TDs and only 4 INTs with perhaps the thinnest group of skills position players in the league. Jay Cutler this season has 19 TDs and 14 INTs with some strong weapons.
Now, Jarvis Landry is going to get the ball regardless of who’s throwing the ball. The issue is yardage. He has 103 receptions for 895 yards. With a mobile QB who can extend the pocket you can get a dynamic player like Landry more in space which is going to give him more yardage and perhaps more TDs. Then you have Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker, both very good receivers. In fact ,Parker likely would have seen his number go up a bit with a more mobile QB.
Let’s also not forget Jay Ajayi and Kenyon Drake, Drake especially who’s a dual threat. Having him and Kaepernick in the backfield would have caused quite a bit of disruption to opposing defenses. They would have figured this out in training camp had they singed Kaepernick, however that never happened.
The reason why I am brining up this hypothetical is because I read a story in Friday’s Miami Herald about head coach maybe giving QB David Fales a shot at playing on Sunday.
That’s when coach Adam Gase might give backup David Fales some playing time. Fales, 27 and in his third NFL season, has thrown only five passes in the NFL — in Chicago during the 2015 season when Gase was the Bears offensive coordinator.
But he got first-team repetitions in practice this week and Gase is preparing Fales to play. The final decision whether to use Fales is apparently not yet made because, and ultimately, the game will dictate whether Fales sees the field because Gase still wants to win.
You literally can’t make this up. Anyways, this triggered me to write this piece. Now looking at the box scores you can’t take the final score as a measure. You have to realize the ability to execute drives, sustain drives, avoid sacks and turnovers will totally change the landscape of a game.
The Dolphins needed a veteran QB who has mobility and has won big time games in big time spots, not a skilled non mobile vet with sketchy skills in the clutch. By taking the conservative approach and taking Cutler and not having guts and signing Kaepernick, the stupid political stunt played by NFL owners backfired and probably cost the Dolphins and their fans a chance at the playoffs.
Sure this is 100% conjecture and speculation, but it’s obvious Cutler wasn’t the guy to get the job done. The only other veteran QB available was Kaepernick and he would have given the Dolphins a better shot, at least in my universe.
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