How the Jay Cutler signing affects the Patriots' annual upset scare in Miami


It should come as very little surprise that Jay Cutler has stunk against the Patriots in his career. In three games against the Pats, he’s thrown five picks, posted a QB rating of 70.5 and lost by a combined 91 points. He’s thrown for multiple touchdowns in just one of those games. 


What should come as a surprise is that anyone could possibly think this effects the Patriots at all. 

The obvious response to the news of the Dolphins signing is to laugh off their choice to sign a mediocre quarterback with terrible numbers against the only team that matters in their division. Then it’s to wonder what kind of shape Cutler -- who has carried a reputation for not caring throughout his career -- could possibly be in this late in the summer when he didn’t intend to play football this season. 

Adding Cutler ultimately doesn’t move the needle much for the Dolphins and it shouldn’t change the Patriots’ view of them. Big-picture, the Dolphins are probably a fringe Wild Card team like they were last season. For Patriots fans, they should still be considered the inferior opponent capable of stealing a game in Miami. 

The Patriots are 1-3 in Miami since the start of the 2013 season, but Miami’s quarterback play has not been the primary factor in those games. Rather, those games were more about Tom Brady being un-Brady-like, so if there’s any way the Dolphins are going to be perhaps the only team to defeat the Pats this season (they won’t be), it probably won’t be because Cutler’s going to torch them for 350 yards and four touchdowns. Hell, the Pats don’t even play in Miami until Week 12, so maybe the Dolphins’ quarterback situation has changed once again by then. 

What likely won’t change is that Brady will be under center, and that’s how the Dolphins have gotten those wins. 

- In Week 15 of the 2013 season, Brady didn’t find the end zone until the there was 4:14 left in the game. He ended up with a gaudy-looking 364 passing yards in that game, but he had just 169 over the course of the first three quarters. The other 195 came in a fourth-quarter comeback attempt that ended with an interception in the game’s final seconds. 

- The Dolphins sacked Brady four times in Week 1 of the 2014 season. Brady’s 69.7 passer rating was his third-lowest of the season. 

- In Week 17 of 2015, the Pats’ attempt to clinch the No. 1 seed in Miami failed as Brady threw for just 134 yards (due largely to the act that he attempted a season-low 21 passes) with no touchdowns.

So like most things involving the Patriots, any matchups with the Dolphins — especially the annual scare in Miami — will revolve around Tom Brady. You don’t need to concern yourself too much with Jay Cutler. He stinks, but you already knew that. 

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