MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Chants of “We want Moore!” could be heard throughout Hard Rock Stadium on several occasions Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins picked up their second win of the season -- 16-10 against the Tennessee Titans -- but another shoddy performance by quarterback Jay Cutler and the offense had some fans clamoring for backup Matt Moore.
Cutler had his third straight inconsistent outing, completing just 12 of 26 passes for 92 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He had a 52.1 passer rating, including a 14.6 passer rating in first half, and averaged 3.5 yards per attempt. Cutler has led the Dolphins to two touchdown drives in the past three games.
Yet Sunday’s win likely buys Cutler more time. The Dolphins (2-2) are back at .500 after a tough first month of the season, on and off the field, and coach Adam Gase has defended his starting quarterback at every turn. Gase persuaded Cutler to come out of retirement in August and will not put the 12-year veteran on a short leash.
Ironically, Dolphins fans gave former starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill the same treatment nearly a year ago when they hosted the Titans and lost. But Tannehill turned his play around in 2016, finishing 8-6 as a starter and leading the Dolphins to the playoffs.
Miami hopes Cutler can improve this season before it is too late.
What I liked: Miami’s defense continues to play at a high level. Defensive players said during the week they have to do more to win, and in the first half, safety Reshad Jones recovered a fumble and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. Miami’s defense caused another fumble by Titans running back DeMarco Murray to set up a first-half field goal.
What I didn’t like: The offense still needs fixing. It is easy to point to the quarterback, but the offensive line was inconsistent, running back Jay Ajayi fumbled, and receivers and tight ends dropped passes. The offense's issues may be tough to fix, but they are fixable. Miami isn’t challenging defenses deep. Cutler’s longest completion was for 17 yards to receiver Jarvis Landry.
Fantasy fallout: Many fantasy owners took a hit Sunday when Miami receiver DeVante Parker suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter. Parker caught a slant and was unable to get a first down when he hurt his ankle. Parker didn’t return and wound up with one catch for 6 yards. Fantasy owners may want to consider alternatives if Parker’s ankle causes him to miss more games.
Rey’s debut: Miami waited more than six weeks and on Sunday finally was ready to play new linebacker Rey Maualuga. Not only did Maualuga start, he recorded five tackles and played mostly on first and second down. The eight-year veteran had struggled with weight and hamstring issues since signing with the Dolphins.
Longevity: Long-snapper John Denney, Miami’s longest-tenured player, appeared in his 196th straight game with the team. That is tied for third all time with former Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg.
What’s next: The Dolphins will play their fourth game away from Hard Rock Stadium in five weeks when they travel to face the reigning-NFC-champion Atlanta Falcons.