After spending a week of joint practices in the land of cheese steaks, Tasty Cakes, and the Liberty Bell; the Miami Dolphins knocked off some pre-season rust and showcased their newly minted quarterback(fresh from retirement) Jay Cutler.
Behind the deep throw ability and uncanny (albeit nonchalance) of stepping up in the pocket, Cutler finished 5-8 for 105, 1 TD, and 1 lost fumble.
Needless to say Cutler wasn’t the only bright spot in the Miami offense as receiver DeVante Parker took a deep jump ball from Cutler at the Eagles 41 yard line and turned it into a combined 72 yard catch and run to the two yard line as he stumbled after getting caught from behind corner back Ronald Darby of the Eagles.
In addition, Jay Ajayi continued to pulverize defenses with his escapability and sheer power to rock defenders backwards and find holes opened by Laremy Tunsil and the Dolphins offensive line. Ajayi finished the night with the biggest score output of 2 – two yard touchdowns and 9 carries for 53 yards. Not a bad night for a preseason game and not a bad performance for one-quarter of play.
However, while the Miami defensive front had a field day tipping passes and making Carson Wentz check down and take sacks, the Miami corner backs got flat out roasted.
On a pass play early in the first quarter, quarterback Carson Wentz looked to speedy Torrey Smith as Smith broke through corner Byron Maxwell’s coverage (or lack thereof) and got past veteran safety Reshad Jones for an easy 50 yard touchdown. The play seemed to be a miscommunication as it appeared Jones slowed waiting for Maxwell to stay with Smith underneath, but instead Maxwell peeled off leaving Reshad Jones a dead duck.
The play was almost reminiscent of the pass play the Giants’ Eli Manning threw toward the Dolphins’ Reshad Jones as Odell Beckham Jr. speed-bursted by Jones taking the ball 80 plus yards.
Overall, from what Dolphins fans witnessed, the offense proved to be potent when on and even though seemed to lack rhythm, showed that it is on the presupice of being downright unstoppable with Cutler’s Jeff George-like arm and DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills ability to get open rather quickly.
What’s more, Adam Gase finally has a quarterback he can rely on to chuck it deep, move around in the pocket, and put big points on the board.
In that up and coming category of the Dolphins depth chart Brandon Doughty connected with Jakeem Grant for 69 yards, but Matt Moore failed to show he’s worthy of the back up job and threw two interceptions and one of them a pick six.
Surely Jay Cutler’s preseason is now done as the Dolphins make preparations to play the Buccaneers in a couple of weeks, but from what we’ve seen from Cutler considering he was assumed to be done for good, shows us something more and that is that the continuity with head coach Adam Gase and locker room rapport is paying off.
Said Adam Gase after the game: “Seems like his pocket presence is coming back pretty quick and (you know) he made some nice throws (NFL Network).”
At this point in the season, the preseason only matters to those fighting for a spot and it’s going to be a tough few days for those guys wearing aqua and orange looking for a spot on the 53 and or practice squad.