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Cutler Has Disaster & Defense Quits Against Panthers

Cutler Has Disaster & Defense Quits Against Panthers

Far too many Cutler passes were far, far off the mark

Far too many Cutler passes were far, far off the mark

Too many routine passes to open receivers eluded Cutler on Monday

The Miami Dolphins are now 4-5 with another blowout on their 2017 resume… and again, so much was left on the table.

While all the talk from the PPH services was about the Offensive Line being the key to the game, it was Jay Cutler looking like the punter throwing a pass that proved to be the key to the loss.

In yet another 1st Half of too many terrible throws, which seemed meant for the moon, invisible receivers, or moles hiding underground more than the open receivers in white and aqua, Cutler made the case for his benching.

Cutler’s ‘off game’ ultimately led to a mindless 1st Down pick with 45 sec left in 1st half. This mistake was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

With the score 10-7, the Panthers took over in the Red Zone, which was pushed even close by a Julius Thomas 15 yard Personal Foul after the pick. The Panthers quickly punched it in, giving them a crushing 17-7 lead over the Dolphins.

The defense then came out in the 3rd Qtr and decided to play at what seemed like 50%.

But the momentum that led to the disastrous 2nd Half started with the inexplicable play of Cutler… again.

Here are some of the missed opportunities by Cutler:

1st Qtr.

Run Forest, run. A fallen defender and open space would have made for a very nice play for Landry.

Never good when your receiver, who is over the top of the defense, runs with opens arms as the pass sails out of bounds 10 yards ahead of him.

Ball was released well before the pressure came, but the 4-5 yard play was left in the dirt… where the football landed 2 yards short of the open receiver.

Cutler saved some of his worst for the 2nd Quarter

2nd Qtr:

Another dirt ball to a wide open receiver…

And another…

Thomas was about 2 steps in front of the defenders. He had to slow down, reach behind, and catch it out of bounds. This was a 6pts thrown away.

Cutler wasn’t done, and nearly led Landry to the injury list.

Why throw to the two open receivers…

…when you can throw it to the receiver who is double covered.


How many yards were left on the field in the 1st Half? 100? 150?

The defense seemed to have had enough after the interception. You could see the look of resignation and disgust on the face of Cameron Wake… and that combined with the 2nd Half defensive collapse, all that was needed to be said was said.

The defense quit on this game… and Cutler’s inconsistency was the catalyst.

But the reality is a portion of the team quit on Gase for 2 Qtrs… and that’s far, far worse than the loss itself. Can he get them to bounce back? We’ll see. I think so. Or I should say, I hope so.

Gase is a young H.C., who maybe unwisely decided to juggle two jobs at once. Add in that he had an inordinate amount of external issues that made his job harder, and you can see a recipe for disaster. But, Gase made the decision to be the play caller and as made the call to get Cutler and Thomas, and both made jackass decisions on the pick… and the pick began the landslide that ended this game, likely this season… and maybe more.


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  • Steve

    Some successful NFL Coordinators who could help Gase turn this team around.

    Peter Edwards Carmichael Jr. who is the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints He was named offensive coordinator on January 12, 2009,

    Eagle’s Jim Schwartz, Defensive Coordinator.
    Pat’s offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia
    Mike Vrabel, defensive coordinator, Houston Texans
    For The special teams coordinators Dave Toub (Kansas City Chiefs)

  • Lemmus

    …ah hell …”respect Steve’s views” …sorry Fritz

    …and what the heck is this “awaiting moderation” bit?

    • Steve

      Hello Lemmus

      Good reading on your take!

      Do you remember the Great NFL train Robbery (Jimmy Johnson was a Rookie NFL Coach who new how to win and how to get there! Some notes that Stephen Ross can use after this season.


      Jimmy Johnson quoted when he took over for Dallas after being 0-5.
      His opinion was that they were 53 players away from a Super Bowl.

      My point is no one is non expendable from General Manager to QB down to kicker. Positive Results (Win) nothing short. This thing is a business and the Dolphins for 3 decades has failed to bring aboard Folks who have Supper Bowl background. We have been listening for 3 decades how this guy is such an Offensive or Defensive Gu-ru! But turn out to be another LIABILITY TO THE TEAM.

      • admin

        They get killed this week Steve and I have one foot firmly off the Gase train… right now one foot is testing the water.

        • Steve


          Gase has no weapons from QB to the water boy and any body in their right mind to run this 53 man roster again next season needs to be in the bleachers. As I wrote to Lemmus a quote of Jimmy Johnson when he was rookie Coach with the Dallas Cowboys with an 0-5 record. Jimmy said they were 53 players from the Supper Bowl.

          Gase is a Rookie Coach with a lot of upside in growing into this head coaching job. Now the great Coaches understand how to win the big games and the type players who can get them there!

          So Stephen Ross needs to cleaned house and let Coach Gase go after the players in the draft i.e free agency to turn this thing around.

          We can grade the Dolphins front office by the number of 1st and second round picks we can get for our current players. So if the front office is drafting players who get us nothing on the trade block after a few years playing with the Dolphins. Then they have failed along with the Coaches for not developing players.

          Coach Gase has a similar style to former 49er’s Head Coach Bill Walsh. Coach Gase Style is not like Jimmy Johnson or Nick Saban in your face type.

  • Steve

    Hello Jimmy

    My questioned: Who can we trade for a second round and third round and a 4th round for the 2018 picked?
    Stephen Ross must draft a QB in the 1st round, we must have a serious contender when called apond can lead, carry this team and win. We must have a serious pocket passer, a serious dual threat QB.

    Coach Gase must look at reality.

    The great Coach! will not play the teacher’s pet. Jimmy Johnson when he went to Dallas cleaned house. Great Coaches go into battle to win, There are QB’s in the 2018 draft who can take the Fins to the Promised land after a year or two NFL experience. Or Coach Gase can count his days running with Stephen Ross current QB’s. A man told me once in a Casino don’t play the number you like! Play the numbers that are hitting.

    Jimmy if we have no one to trade for a second round pick out of (53 players). Then the front office has failed the organization along with the coaches in the development of the players.

    But Stephen Ross is at key fault!

    Suh I know is worth a 1st round the man is constantly double teamed. Honestly Jimmy don’t sugar coat this question? Could we get a 1st round for Tannehill? Could we get a second pick for Matt Moore? Could we get even a pick for Jay Cuttler? This is the key problem. Do we planned to show this same movie next season?

    We need offensive and defensive coordinator with Super Bowl experience to help Coach Gase.
    I have not given up on Gase I feel he has tried to pleased Stephen Ross instead of coaching his team and playing the players who can win. His big misstate was not going after a QB in the last draft in the 1st round.

    I like Stephen Ross but he is not trying to Win!

    • admin

      If you wait for Jimmy to answer, it might not be answered till next season :). I told Jimmy to try and find a third guy to help with the site… kinda been rough manning it this season alone–mostly… with a terrible season ta boot.

      My take Steve, I don’t know. I really don’t at this point. I’d like to feel comfortable with Gase’s decision because he sees the small things and it’s the small things that make a QB. Look a Cousins. Not a great physical talent, but just enough that when backed by smarts and intense wok ethic you get a darn good QB. I’d like to stick with Tanny and get a QB after the 1st, unless a real stud is there. But, I’m not like you, I don’t really know the college game… so I’m back to I don”t know. Miami must get a QB behind Tanny even if he stays. It seems like they like Doughty. But it could be just as a longer term backup. The whole stay in the locker room if you want to kneel, ohh it messes with their prep you can kneel now a week later real stuck in my craw. I get both sides, although having family that served in wartime, I side with stand up. But I don’t like a coach making a rule and having it broke a week later… that stinks of a Ross power card. I’m having trouble believing in Ross… he picked Gase and that pick was a big plus for him in my eyes… that’s now up in the air. If he got that one wrong…

  • Fritz

    MJ, the secondary is a much bigger problem that the DL and LB. Can’t cover man to man and can’t play zone.
    Cutler is a bigger problem than the OL. Freak, that’s my opinion, but last night’s game is proof positive that bringing him in was a huge mistake. Couple that with the fact that Gase is trying things out of desperation and so you have a recipe for disaster. The 4th and 1 was absolutely boneheaded.

    I focused on Jesse Davis and noted that he did well on most plays. He has tremendous upside and with time may prove to be a keeper. I also tried to watch Larsen and I thought he did alright for his first game back. Lemmus, the OL is not the best, but they are NOT the biggest problem on this offense. It’s Cutler. Too many poor decisions by him. He won’t pull down the ball and run for a 5 yard gain to get a first down instead he throws a bad pass and so a punt. I’ve seen it too many times.

    I’m a diehard fan, so I will stick with my team until the bitter end. But things have to change. FO needs to do a better job of signing free agents ie Julius Thomas has to go. Cutler cannot possibly be back next year.
    Don’t we miss Tannehill!!!

    MJ, if you can find the time, I would like you to do a breakdown of Jesse Davis and render an opinion of him. Thanks. Go Dolphins!

    • admin

      I agree with the secondary, but if this DL could get pressure, it would make their jobs much easier. Tanks seems good. Howard doesn’t. Kiko was never viewed by me as good cover guy… he is close a lot, but never close enough. McCain seems a tad better. Deep coverage will be a problem if McDonald can’t fix it… cause Jones is weak deep.

      Cutler had zero sacks and that’s not bad especially with playing from behind and the D knowing they were passing. Np Fritz, I’ll do one on Davis. Jimmy says he’s sending a few articles, so that will free me up a bit.

      Since joining this site, I’ve tried to be as even keeled as possible, but the last two games really bothered me. The self inflicted wounds is key to everything. They do as much damage to themselves and the other team’s do to them this season. From HC to ballboy… if they wold just correct the stupid decisions, we’d have a much better team. Ohh well, my eval meter on Gase is going more to the critical now…

    • admin

      Two of the Dolphins’ offensive linemen caught the eye of the analysis team at Pro Football Focus on Monday, as Jermon Bushrod captured a grade of 81.5. Along with Bushrod, Jesse Davis received a favorable grade of 74.3. Thanks to their play, Jay Cutler escaped the contest without being sacked.

      Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Cutler was unable to capitalize on his increased protection. Inaccuracy and questionable decision making led to the veteran quarterback receiving a paltry grade of 38.7 from PFF.

      Pro Football Focus had this to say about Cutler’s night:

      This was an ugly one from the veteran quarterback, who was probably fortunate to finish Monday night with only one interception. Cutler moved around quite a bit in the pocket on MNF and it often led to unset, inaccurate throws, some just sailing over open receivers. He especially struggled throwing to the left side of the field as he completed just 3-of-11 passes to the left that traveled beyond the line of scrimmage for just 33 yards and an interception, giving him a microscopic 1.7 passer rating on those 11 throws.


    • admin

      Cut the tape and working on the video edit… saw some very nice stuff… adds alot of context to the PFF 74 grade and makes it look far better… least that’s how I see it. Would of had it done today, but my job sprung some extra work on me and… well, I’m getting to be an tired, old bastard like Lemmus…

    • admin

      For good or ill, he’ll likely be here for 2 more years. No hot seat this season. Although, given his response after the game, he may quit.

      • phinfreak

        If thats true, that stadium will empty in a NY minute. Arent the Fins on Monday nite vs Patriots in Dec? OMGawd.

        There is no way Gase survives if by mid next year this team tanks again…3 years in a row? No way. Ross should put in a call to both Harbaugh and Gruden ASAP!

        Gase has no clue what is going on much less how to fix what is going on. Thats when you fire a coach. See Giants.

        • admin

          I wouldn’t say no clue. But think about a young first time HC calling the play with the insane litany of events that have happened to complicate matters… even the anthem issue adds tension and conflict in the locker room… this stuff does translate onto the field. The last two week were big for me… the sloppy play is my biggest concern. All the other stuff is part of learning. Rookie DC, young HC.. okay mistakes will be made. But the perpetual sloppy play and defeating themselves is my gravest concern. No matter what talent they have sloppy play will kill them. As an example the Bengals and Chargers from a few years ago. Top rosters always screwing up in the most crucial moment.

          • phinfreak

            You just made my case for why Gase is not a HC caliber coach. See Eagles, Rams, Jacksonville even without a franchise QB. Its not impossible to turn a team around in one season. This is Gase’s year 2 and the team is worse with no hope in sight (no talent).

            Even Gase described his offense as “garbage”. He admitted to not knowing why or what is wrong.

            How can this guy fix anything he doesnt understand? It wont happen.

            Im right again on this.

          • admin

            I made the case in week 3 (before anyone in the media or on this blog) about Gase’s struggles with play calls.

  • phinfreak

    This here is another example of paralysis through analysis, without the benefit of the facts:

    Cutler is in fact having the best year of his career – look it up.
    One pic is not a “disaster” – all QB’s throw pics. The fact is Kuechly made a pro bowl play. It happens. Good offenses and defenses overcome pics all the time hommie.

    Cam Wake has lost a step (at least) and is handled mostly one on one. Is not longer a threat.
    Suh is playing too many plays, him playing gassed in 2nd half hurts team.
    This Defense sucks. Always did, always will. The first few games of the season were a mirage.
    How many 3-and-outs does this D make? Thank you.
    How many turnovers does this vaunted D you homies brag about create? Exactly.

    4th and 1 and Gase calls a hurry up A gap dive into a Kuechly blitz…nice call coach.
    Matt Burke is losing his players – they quit in the 2nd half.
    No pass defense, cant play zone, cant play man.

    2nd time this D coughs up 40 burger. Wait till Tom Brady rolls in to town.
    Fins can’t stop the run, even with 8 and 9 man fronts.


    Lets hear the excuses now eh?

    • Lemmus

      …I bet you have to play monopoly all by yourself …and still lose

      • Lemmus

        …they took 8 players in the 2013 draft …on every other team 3-6 members of that class are starting …the fins? …zero …not a single one is even on the roster …Gase didn’t do that

        …there is a pretty damn good core of players now …just hoping and praying they get this off season right …if anyone is on the hot-seat, it should be the GM on down, those who have been getting it wrong for years on the OL

        …Gase has been burned now …he will be looking to build his coaching staff up as well as the players …he needs a real OC who he can trust enough to make the calls …among others

        …not excuses, just the way it is …Gase is the cure, not the problem …maybe …but we won’t know for another year at least …Ross would be an idiot to can him now …unless Manning is available …whoever signs Manning to HC/GM is going to win a lot of trophies …but alas, that will be the Colts 🙁

        • admin

          I personally think Ross will ride the Gase train out of town whenever that is. If Gase tanks Ross sells… just my opinion.

          I think Gase is carrying too much. Some of his own making and most not. Who calls plays and runs the team currently? I can think of any right now… do you know any? Very,very hard to do. Doing an article on something he said at the end of his last interview that was weird and maybe concerning. I like Gase, but one of his strengths is being hard headed, and it also has proved his weakness at times. Will he make it his fatal flaw? Or like a good coach learn to coach himself? Such a huge question. I think he is doing the team a disservice at this point by calling. He hasn’t been consistently good enough at this point. He has made some very boneheaded calls… too many. I think he is fine at HC, but he might end up being dragged down by his love of calling… unless he can step it up…

          • Steve

            Admin Thanks for the reply back. It’s called Delagating. Many of us have that issue when new in a position.

          • admin

            Guy is bogged down at work, he’s young and hungry… I’m oldish with time, and as my wife says, ‘You love your hobbies more than me’. It’s not true… most of the time 😉

          • Lemmus

            …Packers for one, Philbust was their OC but the HC called the plays …one of the lessons Ross may have learned from when hunting for his replacement

            …with my wife, its “you love your books more than me” …me …”point to a book I’ve loved enough to keep for 39 years” 🙂

            …as for the OL grades, that makes two games out of 9 that Bushrod had a decent performance …which goes to what I’ve said before …consistency and reliability are key …how can Gase game plan around that kind of inconsistency …when he’s good, he’s at best ok …but when he’s bad, he’s very bad

            …Davis has been pretty bad at Guard, maybe he’s found his niche at RT …but pardon me if I wait a few games before believing that, eh

            …I couldn’t disagree more with those ready to abandon ship on TH and trade our future for a 1st round QB …considering what it would cost to trade up to get a top pick vs the historical odds of that pick succeeding. it is, imnsho, a no brainer to stay with TH, and use those picks on the OL, TEs, and CBs

            …I’m old enough to remember the pre-draft QB controversy surrounding the 1st pick when Peyton Manning entered it …if I recall correctly, half the draft Gurus had Ryan Leaf graded higher than Manning …the Colts finally took Manning and the rest is history …Leaf was the 2nd pick iirc and turned out to be probably the biggest bust in NFL draft history …in hindsight, Manning should have been obvious …but he wasn’t …Leaf was taken 2nd by the Chargers and was given the then largest contract ever signed by any NFL rookie

            …if TH had stunk up the game last year, then ok …but he actually looked pretty much like a franchise QB once Gase fired the turnstile twins …so, no …we keep TH, find a replacement for Moore (Doughty?) and wait another year before drafting another QB in the draft …imnsho

            …note that I think Moore is done here, Gase didn’t have enough confidence in him when TH went down for the year …how can he keep him now? …there should be someone with future starting ability backing up TH, Gase obviously doesn’t believe Moore is that man

            …I respect Fritz’s views re TH and this draft but just flat disagree …one of us is wrong …as the old song says “the future is not ours to see”

          • admin

            “I think Moore is done here, Gase didn’t have enough confidence in him when TH went down for the year ” Yeah, I agree. I think (and / or rook) Doughty is that guy… it would be a cash saver and they need it.

            “Packers for one, Philbust was their OC but the HC called the plays …one of the lessons Ross may have learned from when hunting for his replacement” McCarthy quit calling though didn’t he, citing it was too much. Payton has with pretty good success. Still think it might be a lot to process in 1 1/2 years.

            ““you love your books more than me” …me …”point to a book I’ve loved enough to keep for 39 years” hhhahah… I just started Last of the mohicans… been meaning to read it for almost 2 decades. I’m a book guy too.

            “…Davis has been pretty bad at Guard” He posted an 81 by PFF his first game, second was less but alot of that was his back to back penalties… Also, him an Bushrod showed excellent chemistry working swaps and communicating… far better than James… who I think is now a goner–with a few more game like this by Davis.