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Comparing Cutler to Moore and the Rest of the NFL

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by KeyFin, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    While very few folks here are in the "pro Cutler" category, I thought it might help to see where his numbers are falling compared to Moore last season and the active QB's for 2017. I was actually a little shocked by what I found-

    Let's start with Moore in the final 3 games of last season. His passing numbers in 2016 made him the highest-rated active starting QB on the year...which "didn't count" in the record books because it was under 100 pass attempts. But in those three games, he was-

    Moore- 55 for 87 (63.2% completion), 721 yards with an 8.29 average, 8 TD's and 3 Picks with a 105.6 rating.

    Now let's look at Cutler's numbers through four games.

    Cutler- 82 for 131 (62.6% completion), 706 yards with a 5.40 average, 3 TD's and 3 Picks with a 74.8 rating.

    When comparing the two, Cutler has less overall yards, a lower completion rate, 60% less distance on throws, 266% less touchdowns and the same amount of interceptions. And remember, we are comparing four full games to 2 1/4 here. Tannehill got hurt after halftime with us nursing a lead- Moore really only passed the ball on that final drive. Everything else was run plays.

    Look at the numbers side by side-

    Moore- 55 for 87 (63.2% completion), 721 yards with an 8.29 average, 8 TD's and 3 Picks with a 105.6 rating.
    Cutler- 82 for 131 (62.6% completion), 706 yards with a 5.40 average, 3 TD's and 3 Picks with a 74.8 rating.

    Now, most here feel that Moore is inferior to Tannehill...and Moore's numbers crush Cutler's in every possible category, including completion percentage. So would Tannehill play better than Cutler? ABSOLUTELY (more on that later) That 8.29 yard average of Moore's versus Cutler's 5.4 is the real story though- Cutler ranks 39th in yards per play for 2017. That means there's at least 8 backup quarterbacks, plus every other starting QB, that's throwing the ball further than he is.

    It took Cutler 27 more completions across 4 games to come within 15 yards of Moore's 2016 yardage in 2 games plus a couple of series...is anyone else seeing the red flags starting to pop up? That 5.4 average is beyond bad- I went back a decade and couldn't find a QB with an average that low. This is a historically bad number that may belong in the all-time NFL record books....for all the wrong reasons.

    Cutler is also 32nd in total yards, 26th in completion percentage, 29th in TD passes, 32nd in passes over 20 yards, and 38th in overall rating.

    Here's the closest comparison. For Brian Hoyer on San Francisco's team, I divided his season stats by five (for the five games played) and then multiplied it by 4 (for the four games Cutler played) to give us a direct comparison of the worst of the worst in the NFL-

    Cutler- 82 for 131 (62.6% completion), 706 yards with a 5.4 average, 3 TD's and 3 Picks with a 74.8 rating.
    Hoyer- 92 for 155 (59.3% completion), 969 yards with a 6.2 average, 3.2 TD's and 2.4 Picks with a 75.8 rating.

    In case you didn't know, the 49ers are 0-5 under Hoyer and considered the worst team in football. Yet their QB has a rating 1 point above Cutler at this time with 260+ more adjusted yards and a better TD/INT ratio. And you'd better believe that Gase knows this- it's exactly why we run the ball so much and throw so many screen passes.

    Cutler's best stat on the season? Sack rate at 17th overall. That sort of dispels the idea that it's all the line's fault. But let's look a little deeper. For the NFL site "Next Gen Stats", it shows that Cutler has an average time to throw at 2.48 seconds (5th overall fastest). The league average is 2.59 seconds, so we're a little more than a tenth of a second ahead of the curve getting the ball out. For instance, RT was at 2.59 seconds last season (there's no stats available on Moore).

    We can finally say with proof that Cutler is better than Moore and Tannehill at something- even if it's throwing screen passes. That's the ONLY reason this stat is so low...we throw those screens way too much and it's padding Cutler's already horrible stats to make them appear better than they actually are. Yes folks, he's 38th overall and the screen passes are padding the completion numbers here.

    So if we're average on sacks and above average in release times, it means that Cutler is handling the pocket well. But again, he's 39th in yards per play and 38th overall in everything else he does. There's no formula where we can win games with Cutler at this pace- our defense would have to hold teams to 9 points a game to make it competitive AND we'd need the defense to score once every four games.

    Now, a lot of you said that Moore's numbers were inflated because we played a lousy Jets team...and you're 100% right. But Cutler played that same lousy Jets team that was predicted to win 3 games this season- most would agree that the Jet's roster is far worse this year than it was in 2016. Yet Cutler was almost completely shut down in this game where Moore absolutely thrived.

    Moore against Jets- 12 for 18, 236 yards, 66.7% completion percentage, 13.11 yard average, 4 TD's, 1 pick, 126.2 rating
    Cutler against Jets- 26 for 44, 220 yards, 59.1% completion percentage, 5.00 yard average, 1 TD, 1 pick, 70.3 rating

    As you can see, the yardage was similar but it took 26 completions (and 26 additional throws) to Moore's 12 completions to reach almost the same distance. The story is again in the average yards per play- 13.11 to 5.00. Moore was simply far more efficient and he attacked the field. In fact, there were only 2 passes total in the 2nd half for Moore because we were just burning out the clock as a sign of mercy. Meanwhile, Cutler threw screens and short passes that stalled the offense on every single drive.

    The number we're not showing there- 27 points in the first round slaughter with Moore, and zero points for Cutler on 2.5 times the attempts. Big big problem indeed.

    Folks, I'm not going to debate the "who's better" thing here because there's not a single statistic between Moore and Cutler that's even close. I mean, we're comparing Cutler's 4 full games to about 7 quarters of Moore passing and the numbers are still not even in the same ballpark- that's a massive problem. Every starting QB who's seen the field this season has outplayed Cutler and so have eight backups...doesn't that tell us all we need to know?

    It's clearly time for Matt Moore....or any other NFL QB/backup...to take the helm. Statistics show that virtually anyone would be better than Cutler this Sunday.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. DHitchens

    DHitchens Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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  3. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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  4. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Táin Bó Cúailnge Club Member

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    House?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  5. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    lol..

    Yeah.. that Brian Burke guy (the guy who did that analysis) isn't that bad. He clearly does tons of work (far more than me.. I just write a short program and let the computer do the damn work haha!) and he often finds interesting things.

    The problem I have with his stuff is that there are often these little "head scratchers" on the methodological side that makes it hard to take him too seriously (it's like a troll constantly saying in your head "WTF?!?!").

    For example, right up front in that link from DHitchens you see this quote from Burke:
    OK.. did he bother to look up how economists correct for inflation? Forget the exact method, the point is they use multiplication (i.e. division by price index) instead of addition (subtraction). There's a reason for that.

    Suppose you use a CPI inflation calculator and find that $1000 today would be worth approximately $50 in 1917. OK, so then you say that's $950 difference, so if something today costs $100 all I need to do is subtract $950 and get the price in 1917 right? (this is the Burke method).. So that means something that costs $100 today cost -$850 in 1917??

    Absurd obviously. No, obviously you have to multiply/divide not add/subtract, and that's precisely the reason you scale (= multiply in math terminology) stats in one year to a reference year.

    That's just one example, but he has all kinds of stuff like that. So yes he puts in lots of hard work and finds interesting stuff but there are just too many cases where I go WTF?!?! to stay at home thinking about his stuff too much.


    In any case, given Burke's data and how steady ANY/A for Cutler has been over his career, I'm not sure we can infer much from Cutler's terrible start this season if we JUST look at ANY/A because Cutler clearly fits into the "established 10+ year starter" category and they apparently have only a gradual decline.
     
  6. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I have a feeling that Cutler will play better tomorrow (which isn't saying much) since we had two weeks of practices at home to sort of figure things out. The big question is how much better??? We'll probably have to score around 24 to beat the Falcons
     
  7. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Táin Bó Cúailnge Club Member

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    Man, I hope you're right. Jay has been given the best opportunity of the past 3 years to show the world he's not the bum that he's been in his career. We saw Tannehill elevate his play last season. We saw Moore play well for a couple games. We don't need Cutler to play as well as Tannehill did last season, but surely he can match Matt Moore. Right?

    24 points... so you're counting on 2 defensive scores. :shifty:
     
  8. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Maybe three, but yeah. =)

    As bad as our offense is playing right now, I think it's just a matter of getting Cutler in a comfortable rhythm to move the chains on the first couple of drives. Replace the screens with 3-5 yard slants and other short throw...the easiest way to beat constant pressure...and keep Stills/Grant split out wide taking the top off the defense. If the deep ball is there, launch it. If not, keep dinking and sparsely use Ajayi in the first half (in other words, not every first and second down). Gase has to help him build momentum though with semi-aggressive play calls and not relying on Ajayi to do everything- that would be my game plan.
     
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  9. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Your smarter than he is..
     
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  10. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Táin Bó Cúailnge Club Member

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    Here's hoping. Would love to see Tankersley house a Pick 6.

    I not expecting a huge change in our offense. If you look at what Gase and Cutler did in Chicago, then have been doing here, the vast majority of Cutler's throws are under 10 yards and anything over that is well below league average.

    Again, Gase is protecting Cutler from himself. He doesn't want Jay trying to do too much and throwing the game away, or panicking and throwing it to a guy that is not open like he did with Fasano on the Titans INT.

     
  11. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I get that but at the same time, the number one goal is to win football games. Protect your QB all you want but if he can't find the endzone, then you're just enabling him to fail and let down the entire team in the process. And I think that brings up the bigger question here- who is Gase really loyal to? Jay Cutler or the Miami Dolphins organization?

    You see, we waded through the shaky Tannehill years with the stupid picks and the pocket errors because he was believed to be our QB of the future. That's what you do when you're developing a QB and believe in him...but that's just not the case here. Cutler is a vet that was supposed to be ready to go from day 1 and there's maybe a 3-5% chance that he's even on our team this year. So sure, give Cutler the benefit of the doubt for a month to get back into form....we did that. Now's the time to earn that paycheck though and match what the defense is dishing out- no more "let's wait and see while the season goes to ****" mentality. Either he can earn hi paycheck or he can't.

    I'd love to see Cutler have a comeback season and prove everyone wrong, but at the same time I'm not willing to piss away a single more win for that to happen. Either he can move the chains or he can't...it's very simple at this point.
     
  12. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Táin Bó Cúailnge Club Member

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    I think Gase wants to win, but if you caught his last presser, he admitted to some issues with Cutler's play and mechanics. That was a first. He has to clean Jay up and he knows it.

    As for Tannehill, I don't see how you can judge Tannehill under Philbin any more than you can Alex Smith while in SF. Is he the same guy, now with Andy Reid in KC? Of course not. Competent coaching and a good cast matters.

    IMO, Tannehill got a fresh start with Gase and what has been a mostly competent coaching staff and a balanced attack. That's not the same thing as with Cutler, who is a 12 year vet on his 3rd team and he's had good coaches and surrounding cast in Denver, Chicago, and now here. He's even in the same offense that he was in previously with Gase.

    I was open minded about Cutler coming in, but also realistic. He doesn't win and makes bad plays. While it'd be a feel good story for him to ride off into the sunset on a high note, it most likely doesn't happen. That said, he usually manages to have a few multi-TD games a season.
     
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  13. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    On another subject..

    Alex Smith THIS year looks like the Matt Ryan of 2016.. on pace to have record stats including the highest passer rating in a season. We'll see how things end of course. Rodgers has the current record with 122.5 in 2011, and Matt Ryan last year after 5 games was on pace at 121.6 but ended up with 117.1 for the year. Smith is at 125.8 right now!

    In any case, IF Smith continues at this pace I'm officially (such a popular word on this board lately!) making the same prediction I made for Ryan last year: this is a totally anomalous year for Smith and he'll come down to his more recent "career" rating of around 90-95 (that is.. since 2011 when he proved he's above average) in 2018.

    First thing's first though.. he has to keep this up like Ryan did last year. It's only been 5 games.
     
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  14. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I didn't mean that as a knock on Tannehill- you have to invest in a young QB that you believe is the future of the franchise. From day 1 I did want Moore to start the first season or two while RT learned, but in hindsight it probably would have backfired since better results would only keep Philbin and company around longer. It just sucks they coached Tannehill so poorly and set him back about 4 years....that's all on Philbin.

    As you said though (and I said previously), Cutler doesn't deserve that same learning curve. I didn't catch the press interview and that's a good thing Gase admitted there's problems there. Maybe we'll see Moore in the 2nd half if Cutler comes out flat.....or maybe Cutler doesn't come out flat and all this talk is for nothing.
     
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  15. Rock Sexton

    Rock Sexton Anti-Homer

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    I've often wondered this.
     
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