The Miami Dolphins improved their record to 3-2 following Sunday’s 20-17 road victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Miami scored 20 unanswered points in the second half and had its highest point total of the season.
Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler was a key figure in the comeback. Here is a film breakdown of Cutler’s outing against the Falcons:
Stats: 19-of-33 passing, 151 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Best throw: The Dolphins were extra aggressive on fourth down Sunday, and Cutler made his best play in this spot in the third quarter. On fourth-and-2 from Atlanta's 44-yard line, Miami didn't fool the Falcons' defense by passing. But Cutler threw a laser that was high enough where only receiver Jarvis Landry could snag it for 9 yards and a first down over two defenders. The play set up a game-tying field goal by Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey.
Worst throw: Throughout his career, Cutler has had a knack for turning over the football at the worst times. Sunday's interception against Atlanta was another example. With the team trailing 17-0 late in the first half, Miami was in scoring position for a field goal or touchdown. Cutler saw a well-covered Leonte Carroo streaking to his left and tried to fit the ball in anyway. The pass was underthrown and was easily intercepted by Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. Maybe a 24-year-old Cutler can make that throw, but not the 34-year-old Cutler. It is important that he knows the difference.
What I liked overall: Cutler's stats didn't wow you. But he showed toughness by taking some early shots, falling behind 17 points and still hanging in the game. Cutler overcome the bad turnover before halftime and led Miami to four consecutive scoring drives in the second half, which surprised many with the way the team played on offense in previous weeks. When Cutler has a running game, such as what Jay Ajayi provided with 130 rushing yards, playing the position becomes much easier.
What I didn't like overall: Cutler still isn't taking enough shots downfield, and it is difficult to tell if the quarterback himself is being conservative or if it's the playcalling. His longest completion in the win was for 18 yards. Perhaps the absence of injured receiver DeVante Parker contributed to that. Cutler interception -- another was called back because a penalty -- was a potential backbreaker.
What's next: Cutler and the Dolphins will face the rival New York Jets on Sunday for the second time this season. New York beat Miami 20-6 in Week 3.