DeVante Parker, Jay Ajayi climbing up the rankings with big preseasons

DeVante Parker, Jay Ajayi climbing up the rankings with big preseasons”

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is giving football another try as he goes under center for the Miami Dolphins, but now he's opening up about why he chose to briefly walk away from the game after the 2016 season. "I think overall there are things we can clean up, but a lot of them are schematics".

The Miami Dolphins will be on the road for the first time this preseason when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.

It makes flawless sense to give Cutler a chance to establish live-action chemistry with receivers DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills (maybe even, dare we suggest, tight end Julius Thomas) for two quarters or more tonight. He directed the Panthers on a 75-yard drive in 10 plays for a touchdown. The Dolphins allowed a total of seven pressures last night, and this hit on Cutler is something that may happen from time to time, but hopefully not with regularity.

How much does Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase deal with an internal conflict about all this?

Gase pulled Cutler out of the game early in the second quarter. But he did also have positive moments like the big gain to Landry to set up a long FG as the first half ended.

Mychal Kendricks then intercepted Matt Moore's tipped pass and returned it for a score to put Philadelphia ahead 28-21. No. 3 QB Brandon Doughty was 2 of 7 for 74 yards and one TD, a 69-yard TD pass to Jakeem Grant. Doughty made a touchdown throw to receiver Jakeem Grant, who broke two tackles on the way to the end zone. His 63-yard punt in the fourth quarter against the Eagles was muffed by tailback Donnel Pumphrey. The Cowboys would've been the clear division favorite, and still might be, but are now facing a possible six-game suspension of standout running back Ezekiel Elliott. There were plenty of positive plays for Miami's starters, particularly on offense. Wentz looks good. Blount seemed like a nice pickup.

Cutler started the Dolphins' preseason game against Baltimore on Thursday. Both the offense, especially when Carson Wentz and the starters were out on the field, and the defense made big plays throughout the game.

According to Sharp Football Stats, Tannehill had a 63 passer rating on throws traveling 15 or more yards in the air to the right side, by far his worst quadrant of the field, whereas Cutler has a passer rating of 120 on those throws (league average passer rating was 87.6 in 2016). Wentz hit Smith on a 50-yard touchdown pass in which the former Maryland wideout got completely behind the defense and was wide open. On another drive, Wentz found Alshon Jeffery on a slant pattern that reached the end zone. The Eagles may need to carry three quarterbacks, which complicates the 53-man roster decisions.

That guy could start: It has been a rough summer for 2015 second-round pick Jordan Phillips. They'll also face Kelvin Benjamin (6-5), Demaryius Thomas (6-3), Amari Cooper (6-1) and Keenan Allen (6-2). He still has the inside track to become Miami's only Week 1 starter from this year's draft class. Ajayi who was in the concussion protocol program, was cleared for play last week, but Miami played it safe with the running back.

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