If you here looking for a puff piece on the Miami Dolphins starting QB I would suggest you click away right now. In a spot where the team desperately needed at least a decent performance from Jay Cutler to keep their playoff hopes alive, they received what the Broncos and Bears had received when Cutler was QB in those places. We need to make “Cutler” the antonym for the work “cltuch.”
Earlier in the week I wrote how important it was for Cutler to have a huge game to at least remove some of this criticism he has received over the years.
The Dolphins will need the Jay Cutler that threw three TDs in the impressive win over the Patriots last weekend and not the one who threw three INTs a few weeks ago against the Bucs in a loss.
If the Dolphins somehow make the playoffs it will be because Jay Cutler stepped up. If he steps up he could erase some of the criticism he has received for not being a clutch QB. Dolphins fans you still have your squad in the mix for the playoffs. Win out and there’s a chance you guys are in. You just need your QB to make a few plays.
On Sunday Cutler threw 28/48 274 yards O TDs and 3 INTs against the Bills . I highlighted the last two because this is exactly what the Dolphins didn’t want to get performance wise from their QB. Already facing a 21-6 half time deficit, which was more on the defense than anything, Cutler would throw picks on the Dolphins first two possessions in the second half, pretty much all but mortally wounding Miami’s chances. Keep in mind this was a road game in December in Buffalo. You simply have to take advantage of these key possessions and Cutler wasn’t able to come up with a play.
It didn’t end their as the Dolphins would stage a 4th quarter comeback and yes it these spaces Cutler was looking pretty good. They would make it a one possession game making it 24-16 late in the 4th. The Dolphins would indeed recover an onside kick to at least have a chance to tie the contest. But guess what happened this time? You guess it, Cutler threw a pick. Surprise!
If I had a dollar every time Cutler was in position to make a play but didn’t I could probably retire right now. Okay that’s hyperbole, but you get the point. I believe Jay Cutler is the most overrated QB in NFL History. I have yet to see Cutler really win any huge game. Now he’s been on playoff teams before, but when he gets there he doesn’t light up the world. I don’t have the time nor inclination to study the intensive stats regarding clutch moments and what other QBs he’s stacked up against at least in a negative light.
The Dolphins had some options when Ryan Tannehill went down and they chose a guy who had retired from football at the end of last season because he knew head coach Adam Gase’s system. Now the Dolphins could have had another QB of a kneeling variety, but just like the rest of the cowardly teams they passed on that certain QB. So they went with Cutler and boy did they get everything Cutler brings to the table. He’ll make you feel great in spaces where as a fan you have to be getting excited. His performance against the Patriots this past Monday night was one of those moments. But it feels like he has those moments only to deflate your hopes.
Can’t imagine what fantasy football owners who picked up Cutler as a streaming QB and are in their playoffs at the moment how they feel about him. Sure it wasn’t as bad as Dolphins fans feel, or perhaps was because it’s going to cost you some good potential coin. Either way there is no other way to describe Cutler other than being overrated. He has a tremendous amount of skill and shows flashes of brilliance. But at the end of the day he’s never going to take you to the promised land. Folks in Denver and Chicago know exactly what I’m taking about.
Gameday- Dolphins host Raiders looking to remain unbeaten
Who: Dolphins (2-0) vs. Raiders (0-2)
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens
When: Sunday 1 p.m.
Spread: Dolphins by 3 (Courtesy Vegasinsider.com)
Miami has opened by winning the first two games for the first time since 2013 and now has a golden opportunity to get to 3 – 0 today. Here’s what we’re watching
Progression of Ryan Tannehill
Coming off a solid start by spreading the ball around to numerous receivers, Ryan Tannehill will look to keep it up. The Raiders defense is obviously reeling after the trading of Khalil Mack on the eve of the season, and Tannehill may be able to take advantage of the Oakland secondary.
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson as the deep threats could do significant damage later today. Look for coach Adam Gase and coordinator Dowell Loggains to test them early.
Does Derek Carr follow up last week’s performance?
Oakland’s 5th Year quarterback was tremendous for much of the Denver game a week ago, completing 23 of his first 24 passes. With the Raiders getting acclimated to Jon Gruden’s new offense and terminology, it’s still obvious they want to get the ball out of Carr’s hand quickly with short throws.
Another part of Oakland’s offensive success is the early running of Marshawn Lynch, who is questionable for this game with an injured shoulder. They would like to set up play action with Lynch or backup running back Jalen Richard. If Miami can stuff the run, it will help greatly in stopping the Raiders attack.
Dolphins defense continues its optimistic play?
Whether it was surviving the two lengthy weather delays two weeks ago against the Titans with key sacks and takeaways, or last week in New York with frustrating rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Miami has been able to make plays at times.
That needs to continue on Sunday. Safety Reshad Jones will be a game-time decision with his injured shoulder and that could affect their defensive scheme for coordinator Matt Burke.
If Miami’s pass rushers, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Etc can get to Carr it will make life easier at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jon Gruden’s returns to Florida already in coaching turmoil
It may be premature to say that the “second honeymoon” for Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders is already over, but another defeat Sunday, and it likely is.
The Raiders are clearly struggling after dropping their second straight game last week in heartbreaking fashion against the Broncos in Denver. Oakland controlled most of the game and Derek Carr was outstanding, completing 23 of his first 24 passes on the day.
However, in the end Case Keenum rallied the Broncos and when Brandon McManus’ last-second field goal went through, the smirking critics of “Chucky” were already “sticking their chests out” about his NFL return.
Without question, some of this is self-inflicted, as Gruden clearly did not want to pay and therefore keep, linebacker Khalil Mack for the Raiders. And yes, they got a bounty of draft picks in return, but Mack has been nothing short of sensational as a pass rusher in two games in Chicago, and the Raiders defense is again mediocre-at-best.
So, that brings us to Sunday. And even though Gruden has been living in the Tampa Bay area while doing Monday Night Football for ESPN, this is the first time that he’s back coaching a game in the state since the final regular-season game of 2008. That day, ironically his Buccaneers lost to the Raiders completing a four-game losing collapse and costing his team a playoff spot-ultimately Gruden his job with the Bucs.
Now, the Raiders have come all the way East to Miami to play the 2 – 0 Dolphins. And while Gruden is in absolutely no jeopardy of losing his job, at least not until year 3 or 4 if it’s not working, owner Mark Davis didn’t make this shockwave multimillion-dollar hire to have the Raiders be one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Clearly, there was going to be some learning curve for Gruden with his new staff and new players. However, with a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback like Carr the belief was the Raiders would be solid, if not a wild card playoff contender.
It hasn’t shaped up that way as of yet.
The good news for Raider fans is: no one is going to outwork Gruden at trying to get it right.
The bad news is: the Raiders may not have enough overall talent to overcome that above-mentioned learning curve and digging themselves an 0-3 hole start 2018.
And the Fins, may be about to deal “Raider Nation” their latest lost Sunday.
Dolphins got contributions everywhere in Sunday win
There were a lot of questions and plenty of reasons to doubt the Dolphins roster makeup, as 2018 was getting underway.
However, two games in, the Fins have been impressive, and earned their way to an unbeaten start. Their latest effort Sunday at The Meadowlands against AFC East rival Jets saw numerous players new and old step up.
Whether it was TJ McDonald’s early interception of New York rookie QB Sam Darnold, or Kenyan Drake weaving through the Jets front seven for the early score a short time later, Miami set the tone.
And then, when Kiko Alonso knocked the ball free from Jets receiver Robby Anderson and Raekwon McMillan recovered it, it was new free agent receiver Albert Wilson capitalizing here:
Can't catch @iThinkIsee12
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 16, 2018
It went for a 29-yard touchdown from QB Ryan Tannehill and Miami had command at that point at 14-0.
Tannehill spread the ball around to seven different receivers, and even found reserve A.J. Derby for a 19 yard touchdown, as the lead ballooned to 20-0 nothing.
Darnold ended with some decent yardage and a couple of second-half touchdowns, but the Dolphins registered four sacks and had three total takeaways to help put this one away.
Even ageless veteran Frank Gore got into the act. This as, the 35 year old moved into fourth place on NFL all-time rushing list trailing only Hall of Famers Barry Sanders Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.
And late in the game caught a dump off pass from Tannehill and weaved through the Jet defense to pick up 3rd and 19, move the chains and allow Miami to run the clock out.
So the 2018 Dolphins don’t have Jay Cutler, Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and some of the others from a team that struggled last year.
However, their new faces stepped in and stepped up Sunday on the road.
And Miami is now 2 – 0 for the first time since 2013, and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.
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