Remember last week when folks were drinking the Kool Aid on Jay Cutler?
“Jay, really, the last two games he has played well,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said last week. “The Jets game, that was probably one of the best games that he has had. Then this last game [against the Oakland Raiders], I think he topped it.”
Yeah, so Cutler had something cooking heading into Monday night’s game at Carolina. Except he probably forgot he had something cooking and left the kitchen to go outside or something. Anyway, whatever was working stopped working against the Carolina Panthers.
Cutler delivered a not-good-enough night against the Panthers that included only 213 passing yards, two touchdowns (one on a shovel pass a high school QB could have completed), an interception, and a mediocre 82.4 quarterback rating.
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The folks at ProFootballFocus.com deemed Cutler’s outing, “his worst game of the season with an overall grade of 38.7.”
PFF said Cutler 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. And those throws to the left rewarded Cutler and the Dolphins with just 33 yards. And his interception was to the left side of the field. And his passer rating throwing in that direction was 1.7.
And here’s no surprise: Cutler, an inconsistent player, has an overall PFF grade for the season of 72.2. That’s 28th among all NFL quarterbacks.
There is, however, really great news: Because Cutler is an inconsistent player, I can practically guarantee he will rally and play very well fairly soon after his tough outing in Carolina.
That will happen!
But … after that happens, Cutler’s likely to deliver another stinker or two as well.
Look, that is Jay Cutler over the span of his career. He’s posted a career rating of 85.8. His rating right now is 86.7.
That rating is 22nd out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks.
The rest of the ProFootballFocus grades for Week 10:
Right guard Jermon Bushrod had his highest-graded game since Week 1 of the 2015 season and was the top Dolphins player against Carolina in Week 10. He was strong in both pass-blocking (83.0) and run-blocking (78.8) and his overall grade of 81.5 earned him the 10th-highest grade among all guards last week.
The right side of Miami’s offensive line was actually pretty good overall. Right tackle Jesse Davis had a solid game (74.3 overall) filling in for the injured Ja’Wuan James.
Left guard Ted Larsen made his season debut but struggled, particularly in run-blocking with a grade of 26.9.
Running back Damien Williams started his second straight game and out-snapped Kenyan Drake 31-25 on the night. Williams carried the ball nine times for 19 yards (28 yards after contact) while Drake had seven carries for 82 yards (85 after contact) and a touchdown.
A player can have more yards after contact than total yards when some of his carries lose yardage.
Wide receiver DeVante Parker grabbed six of nine targets for 66 yards with three of his catches resulting in a Dolphins first down. He has been targeted at least seven times in the five full games he has played and has graded out below 70.0 just one time (69.5 in Week 3).
On a night the Dolphins allowed 294 rushing yards, it was expected that most of Miami’s run-stoppers struggled. Thus … defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh did not grade up to his usual standards but was still the highest-graded player on defense with a 79.6 overall grade. No Miami defender graded above 75.0 against the run. Suh’s overall grade for the season now stands at 90.9, second-highest for any interior defensive linemen.
Defensive end William Hayes recorded two hurries and two stops and earned an overall grade of 74.0 on the night. For the season, Hayes now has an overall grade of 85.4, which ranks 14th for all edge defenders. Hayes ranks fifth in run-defense grade at 89.2.
Safety T.J. McDonald started and played 73 of 75 snaps while making his season debut after serving an eight-game suspension. He was rusty and earned an overall grade of 48.3, largely because of four missed tackles.
The four missed tackles were the most for any safety in Week 10.
Defensive end Cameron Wake had his first poor game of the season, finishing with an overall grade of 39.1 for the night. He struggled defending the run, as his 32.1 run-defense grade suggests. Wake’s grade for the season now stands at 83.0 overall.
Dolphins cornerbacks Bobby McCain (42.6 overall) and Xavien Howard (35.3) had a rough night in coverage. McCain was targeted a game-high 10 times, allowing five receptions for 54 yards. Howard was targeted seven times, allowing five receptions for 87 yards and three touchdowns.
For the season, McCain is still the highest-graded Dolphins cornerback at 74.3, while Howard drops to 35.0 overall.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero