Jay Cutler –
Cutler was phenomenal last night. He threw for a little over 300 yards, an 81% completion percentage and 3 touchdown passes. Although I would have liked to see a few more aggressive throws downfield, the fact is that Cutler had a near flawless game. Let’s not forget that the man was also playing with two cracked ribs. I know that Cutler has this bad rep of not caring about the game, but this guy looks like he wants to win with this team. If Cutler can keep putting up numbers like this for the rest of the season, maybe there’s a slight chance that he could compete to be coming back next year (this is a big maybe).
Running Backs –
While Ajayi may have left a hole in the run game that will take a while to fill, the fact is that this duo run game of Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake wasn’t too shabby on their first outing without the J-Train. Drake supplied the run threat with 69 yards on nine carries and Williams the receiving threat out of the backfield with 47 receiving yards on 6 receptions and a touchdown to boot. If our shaky o-line can find a way to open more holes for Drake, this run game might have hope again.
I’m not saying the defense was horrible, but it has been inconsistent these past two weeks. Despite holding the run game to only 3.1 yards a carry, it seemed like this front seven gave up too many big runs to an aging Marshawn Lynch. The passing game had its troubles as well as the secondary struggled stopping the pass on third down and safety Reshad Jones took a horrendous angle on a long touchdown pass that seemed to hang in the air for a minute. Miami’s defense needs to find a way to have a faster start in order to keep the team ahead early in games.
The Refs –
I swear, these refs had money on this game. It seemed like every close call went Oakland’s way. I saw multiple plays where a Raider’s o-lineman was using hands to the face, yet no flag was thrown. However, the good Lord knows these guys weren’t missing a beat when it came to Miami’s o-line. Let’s not forget that unnecessary roughness call on Reshad Jones. The man gets a personal foul after the wide receiver rips his helmet off. How does that happen? I understand that you must overcome bad reffing some games, but this one was tough to watch.
The Field –
Once again, home-field advantage was anything but for the ‘Fins. After an initial downpour right before the game, the field looked mushy and something I wouldn’t find acceptable for a high-school game. I’m not sure if the canopy has a part to play in the field’s conditions or Stephen Ross hired the worst grounds crew in Miami. Either way, I feel like it’s time the ‘Fins bite the bullet on this natural field and start looking towards artificial turf. The other option is that the ‘Fins tell Miami U to find a new place to play so the field is left untouched before Dolphin’s home games, but we know that’s not going to happen.