Miami Dolphins

Jay Cutler’s five best and worst games as an NFL quarterback

Miami Dolphins quarterbacks Jay Cutler (6) and Matt Moore (8) warm up during Dolphins training camp in Davie, Fla., August 8, 2017.
Miami Dolphins quarterbacks Jay Cutler (6) and Matt Moore (8) warm up during Dolphins training camp in Davie, Fla., August 8, 2017. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

For better or worse, Jay Cutler, 34, will be the guy under center for the Dolphins this coming season.

The Dolphins enticed him to come out of retirement with a one-year, $10 million deal counting incentives after Ryan Tannehill went down with another serious knee injury last week in practice.

Although Cutler has made only only Pro Bowl, has a 68-71 record as a starter and 146 career interceptions (seventh-most among active quarterbacks), he is also eighth in fourth quarter comebacks (21), ninth in touchdown passes (208) and 10th in passing yardage (32,467) among active quarterbacks.

His career completion percentage of 61.9 percent ranks 14th in the league – and not far behind Tannehill (62.7 percent).

At Tuesday’s practice in Davie Cutler looked like a star.

But proceed with caution. Cutler embodies the quarterback who can be up one minute and down the next.

For Dolphins fans who might not have followed his every move with the Bears and Broncos, here’s a look back at the five best and five worst games Cutler had in his previous 11 seasons:

FIVE BEST GAMES

1. Sept. 14, 2008 - Broncos beat Chargers 39-38: Cutler has engineered 25-game winning drives and this was his most thrilling by far. After Phillip Rivers erased a 14-point halftime deficit and put San Diego ahead 38-31 with a 66-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles with 4:22 remaining, Cutler led a 12-play, 80-yard drive and capped it with a four-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal with 24 seconds to play on fourth and goal. Cutler, 25, followed it up by connecting with Royal again on the two-point conversion to take the lead. Cutler finished 36 of 50 for 350 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. His QB rating of 109.6 in the game is the 18th best of his career. The Chargers went on to win the division while Denver missed the playoffs.

2. Dec. 28, 2009 - Bears beat Vikings 36-30 in OT: Brett Favre erased a 17-point second half deficit and forced the game into overtime when he found Sidney Rice on a six-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds to play in regulation. But Cutler, 26, composed himself and still led Chicago to victory in overtime even after Bears kicker Robbie Gould missed a 45-yard field goal on the opening drive of OT. Cutler connected with Devin Aromashodu (Miami Springs graduate) on a game-winning 39-yard touchdown pass two series later to win the game. Cutler finished 20 of 35 for 273 yards, four touchdowns, one interception and a 108.4 quarterback rating in the win. The Vikings would go on to reach the NFC Championship game. The Bears finished 7-9 and Cutler led the NFL with 26 interceptions.

3. Sept. 14, 2014 - Bears won at San Francisco 28-20: Chicago trailed 17-0 when Cutler started the rally with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall with 13 seconds left in the first half. Down 20-7, Cutler threw three touchdown passes in the final quarter – all from inside the five-yard line – as Chicago took advantage of two Colin Kaepernick interceptions on the 49ers side of the field and turned it into points quickly each time. Cutler finished 23 of 34 for 176 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions on a night the Bears running game produced only 46 yards. Cutler’s quarterback rating of 119.2 that night was the 13th best of his career.

4. Nov. 28, 2010 - Bears beat Eagles 31-26: Cutler didn’t throw the ball very often (he finished 14 of 21) because the Bears jumped out to a 31-13 lead, but when he did throw it usually resulted in something good. Cutler threw for 247 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions and led the Bears (8-3) to a big win at home over a good Eagles squad (7-4) led by Michael Vick. Cutler’s passer rating of 146.2 is the second-best of his career. He did, however, take four sacks in the victory and the Eagles rallied late to make it interesting.

5. Nov. 15, 2015 - Bears won at St. Louis 37-13: In his best quarterback rating performance (151.0), Cutler completed 19 of 24 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears (4-5) outscored the Rams (4-5) 27-3 over the final three quarters and rolled to victory. Cutler had an 87-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller in the first quarter and an 83-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Langford in the second quarter. Those are the third and fourth longest touchdown passes of Cutler’s career and two of the four touchdown passes he’s thrown for over 80 yards.

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins coach, likes what he sees in his new quarterback Jay Cutler on his first day at practice.

FIVE WORST GAMES

1. Dec. 20, 2009 - Bears lost at Ravens 31-7: In what was by far his worst game as a pro (7.9 QB rating), Cutler completed just 10 of his 27 pass attempts for 94 yards, no touchdowns and was intercepted three times by a 9-7 Ravens team that advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs. The following week, Cutler rebounded by beating Favre and the Vikings in a classic.

2. Sept. 13, 2012 - Bears lost at Packers 23-10: Nobody brings out the worst in Cutler more than the Packers. He’s 2-11 against them all-time and this was by far his worst performance against Green Bay. Cutler completed just 11 of his 27 attempts for 126 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. He was also sacked seven times. Two Cutler picks led directly to 10 Packers points.

3. Nov. 12, 2009 - Bears lost at 49ers 10-6: It’s hard to throw for over 300 yards, complete 56 percent of your passes, not get sacked and still lose. But Cutler managed to pull it off. He did it by throwing a career-high five interceptions including one that led to San Francisco’s only touchdown and then another in the end zone to end the game. The 49ers finished 8-8.

4. Dec. 24, 2007 - Broncos lost at Chargers 23-3: Cutler finished 14-of-32 for 155 yards and two interceptions and the Broncos never had a shot. Cutler was also sacked four times.

5. Dec. 12, 2010 - Bears lost at Patriots 36-7: It’s not easy to win in New England to begin with, but the Bears (9-4) were expected to do better than they did and were blown out from start to finish. Cutler and the Bears offense never got going. He finished 12-of-26 for 152 yards and two interceptions. Cutler was also sacked twice and fumbled once.

CUTLER’S CAREER HIGHS (SINGLE GAME)

Yards: 447. 34-30 win over Browns on Nov. 6, 2008.

Completions: 36. 39-38 win over Chargers on Sept. 14, 2008.

Attempts: 52. 10-6 loss to 49ers on Nov. 12, 2009.

Touchdowns: 4. Six times most recently Sept. 14 2014 in 28-20 win at 49ers.

Interceptions: 5. 10-6 loss to 49ers on Nov. 12, 2009.

Sacks: 9. 17-3 loss to Giants on Oct. 3, 2008.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments