The Dolphins make me cry, Jay Cutler improved the defense did not in third preseason game

The Dolphins make me cry, Jay Cutler improved the defense did not in third preseason game

The Miami Dolphins completed preseason game number three visiting the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler looked sharp.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz looked sharper.

Wentz threw touchdown passes to both of his new receivers, Mychal Kendricks returned an interception 31 yards for a score and the Eagles beat the Dolphins 38-31 on Thursday night.

Playing his second game since coming out of retirement to replace injured Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill, Cutler was 5 of 8 for 105 yards and one TD. His surgically repaired right shoulder looked sufficient on a 72-yard pass to DeVante Parker. Cutler did have a fumble on the opening drive but collectively had a 145.8 passer rating showing signs of improvement moreover the ceiling for his talent.

“These guys are, they are different speeds,” Cutler stated on his wide receivers. “Whenever they get green grass, they are gone.”

Cutler shared the wealth of his passer rating by completing passes to all three starting wide receivers: Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills as well as to offseason tight end addition Julius Thomas for a one-yard touchdown. It is evident that Cutler is finding his rhythm especially with the receivers.

Jay Ajayi had a pair of two-yard TD runs for the Dolphins. The fact that center Mike Pouncey played the opening three series on the offensive line gives a sigh of relief regarding his injured hip and especially leading an offensive line that can use all the help. The Dolphins are bringing him along well through the limited practices.

I can’t put my finger on the true personality of the defense. The pass rush is alive and well however the run defense at times just did not look existent. The Eagles were able to run 13 times for 60 yards in the first half. Scary for a Dolphins defense that ranked 30th in the league last season. There were big plays from the defense however the secondary looks lost with experienced players who are not just returning starters, but flat out coverage busts. My favorite moment of the game was from the defense when Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips had a rumbling 18-yard return after he picked off Wentz, setting up one of Ajayi’s TD runs.

Special teams had a moment; Miami’s Andrew Franks made a 56-yard FG at the end of the first half.

Off the field, the political and sports climate cannot be overlooked in the wake of the violent and racial protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. The national anthem was protested in this game as in many other preseason games across the National Football League. Philadelphia’s Chris Long, who grew up in Charlottesville, put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins as a show of unity during the national anthem for the second straight week. Jenkins stood with his right fist raised in the air as he’s done since last season. He was surrounded by Long, who is white, and Rodney McLeod and Najee Goode. Ron Brooks took a knee behind them.

 

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