Will Cutler Sink or Swim with the Dolphins?

By Mike Morbeck (flickr) CC License

Have you noticed that acrid aroma? How about all the cigarette butts lying around? Maybe you’ve sensed a cavalier attitude in the air? There’s only one explanation: Smokin’ Jay Cutler is back!

After Ryan Tannehill suffered what is believed to be a season-ending knee injury in training camp last week, the Dolphins were left scrambling for answers to some pressing questions: (1) Is Matt Moore capable of steering the ship (in the right direction) for an entire season? (2) Should they enter the Kaepernick (anti)sweepstakes? And (3) just how old is Dan Marino now?

Miami answered all those questions by luring Jay Cutler away from his broadcast gig with FOX: (1) apparently not, (2) definitely not, and (3) too old to play football. (Plus, even if he wasn’t, this team has Super Bowl aspirations. ZING!)

It didn’t take long for Jay to display his trademark Cutler-isms with his new team. When asked whether he was in good enough shape to play, he responded, “I play quarterback, so I don’t have to be in that great cardiovascular shape.” Oh Jay, we’re so happy you’re back.

Outside of inspirational quotes, what else can you expect from Cutler in Miami this season? I’m not foolish enough to hope for Marino-esque (regular-season) numbers. But I am foolish enough to hope Tom Shadyac grabs Jim Carrey and creates a third installment in the Ace Ventura series. I’d pay a lot to watch a psychotic, cross-dressing Andrew Franks kidnap a completely indifferent Jay Cutler. (Laces out, Jay!)

Let’s look at the odds on that Silver Screen venture and a few, more football-related props for this Cutler-Dolphins experiment. Unfortunately you can’t actually wager on all of these, but if you want to sprinkle a little on (or against) the 2017 Phins, check out our comprehensive guide to football betting.

2017 DOLPHINS ODDS

SUPER BOWL LII ODDS: 50/1

O/U WIN TOTAL: 7.5

Although Miami’s odds to win the Super Bowl have gotten slightly longer in Vegas, we respectfully disagree. As much as we like to poke fun at Cutler, he is a talented quarterback. And the production Adam Gase got out of Cutler in Chicago is similar to what he got out of Tannehill last season. Have a look for yourself:

  • Jay Cutler (2015): 64.4 completion-percentage, 243.9 passing yards per game, 21 TDs, 11 INTs, 92.3 passer rating.
  • Ryan Tannehill (2016): 67.1 completion-percentage, 230.4 passing yards per game, 19 TDs, 12 INTs, 93.5 passer rating.

Those suggesting the loss of Tannehill means a lost season are just disgruntled Fins fans looking for their next excuse for why the Patriots always win the East. With all due respect to Tannehill, he’s not an elite QB capable of carrying a team week after week. The same is true for Cutler. Don’t change your outlook on Miami’s 2017, whatever it may have been.

2017 JAY CUTLER ODDS

O/U PASSING TDs: 22.5

O/U INTs: 13.5

O/U PASSER RATING: 90.5

By Mjglasgow (Wiki Commons) CC License

Cutler thrived under Gase because Gase’s schemes shielded his biggest weakness: a lack of anticipation. Gase doesn’t ask his pivots to take a seven-step drop and push the ball down the field, nor does he ask them to make quick, sophisticated reads; when Cutler has tried to play that kind of game in the past, his lack of anticipation has been exposed and a whole lot of interceptions followed. Instead, Gase uses creative play-design to get receivers open underneath and relies on play-action to attack deep down the field; getting the ball out of Cutler’s hands quickly is vital to his success.

Cutler will have a solid ground game to lean on, and perhaps the most underappreciated receiver in the NFL, Jarvis Landry, consistently creating separation from his defender. The potential is certainly there for a career-year for the 34-year-old.

ODDS CUTLER IS A DOLPHIN IN 2018: 5/3

If Cutler leads Miami to the playoffs, the team will have a major decision on its hands. There is still a lot of uncertainty on what Tannehill’s ceiling is, and he’ll be 30 years old by the time the 2018 season starts. It’s very possible Cutler becomes a multi-season Dolphin.

ODDS CUTLER EVER BECOMES AN NFL BROADCASTER: 3/7

People were genuinely excited to listen to Cutler break the game down, and that feeling won’t just disappear after a year. If anything, the hard-to-get routine will only make us want it more.

ODDS ANDREW FRANKS KIDNAPS CUTLER: 99/1

I’m not ready to fully rule this out yet.