DAVIE — When Dolphins coach Adam Gase throws up his hands and says quarterback Jay Cutler hasn’t had a chance much of this season, he’s not kidding.
According to the NFL’s Next Gen stats, the only quarterback under more duress has been Oakland’s Derek Carr — and we saw where that heat got Carr (hint: out one game with a back injury).
The stats show that Cutler has an average of 2.45 seconds to either get the ball off or get crunched. Carr’s average is just 2.17. If that doesn’t sound like a big difference, perhaps it’s because Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh probably aren’t breathing fire and storming at you as you read this.
Compare that to Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who has a cushy 3.12 seconds to lead the NFL, or Cleveland’s DeShone Kizer at 3.02 (Timeout. Who let Cleveland into this discussion?).
Clearly, the answer is obtaining a quarterback named Deshaun, DeShone or any variation thereof.
Anyway, fortunately for Cutler, things are on the upswing. As my colleague, Joe Schad, pointed out in his grammatically challenged series The Tape Don’t Lie, Cutler’s protection in the 20-17 victory over the Falcons was spot on.
That continues a trend set a week ago against Tennessee, when Cutler was sacked once.
More interesting numbers to chew on as you get ready for the annual invasion of the J-E-T-S:
Total sacks Jay Cutler has taken over the past two games
Total sacks Cutler took in first three games
Rushing yards for Jay Ajayi
Rushing yards for everybody else on team
NFL players targeted more than Jarvis Landry’s 57 (for 38 receptions)
NFL ranking for Cody Parkey and coverage unit for kickoffs inside the 20 (23.5 percent)
Percentage of runs by Dolphins up middle or to the right
Average yards per rush by Dolphins’ opponents on third down (8 runs, 2 yards in losses)
Team-leading penalties called on rookie DT Davon Godchaux (2 holding, 4 pre-snap penalties)
Improvement in points per game allowed by defense compared to first five games last year (down to 16.8)
Improvement in yards allowed per game compared to first five games of 2016 (down to 315.4)
Seconds it took for LB Kiko Alonso to sack Tennessee’s Matt Cassel a week ago, making it the fourth-quickest sack in the NFL this season. Alonso separated Cassel from both his helmet and the ball on the play, allowing Reshad Jones to scoop up the fumble and return it 38 yards for a touchdown
Total points scored in second quarter this season
Major categories in which Dolphins’ offense continues to be ranked last (yards per game and per play, passing yards per game and per play, third-down percentage, points per game)
Major categories in which Dolphins’ defense ranks among top 10 (rushing yards per game and per play, third-down percentage, fourth-down percentage, points per game)
Average yards per carry for Giants’ Orleans Darkwa, a former Dolphin, ranking third in NFL (42 carries, 239 yards)