To say that the mood in the Miami Dolphins locker room was somber after a big win would be an understatement. The injury to Ryan Tannehill has put the Dolphins season on the arm of Matt Moore.
After it became clear that the Miami Dolphins would be playing the rest of the season without Ryan Tannehill the boo-birds began their cat-calling about how the Dolphin’s season is now over. Maybe by the time the season is over they will be right and if they are they will have something to point a finger at. Yet Moore isn’t really a bad thing.
Assuming that those who prefer to think of Ryan Tannehill as a “game manager” are correct then all Matt Moore needs to be is a solid game manager. There will be some similarities between the two quarterbacks and there will be some differences.
For starters, Matt Moore doesn’t run like Ryan Tannehill so there will not be any designed running plays for Moore. Moore is more of a “gunslinger” type that likes to throw it deep and allow his receivers to fight for the ball. He is also not as accurate as Tannehill and that could be the bigger problem.
All that being said when you look back at the last real season Moore actually played in, 2011, he was effective and a leader.
2011 was an ugly season. A season that cost Tony Sparano his job. It was also the year that Matt Moore played in 13 games and started 12 of those games. The Dolphins got off to a horrible start to the season losing their first seven games. Moore would come in half-way through a loss to San Diego in week 4.
After the bye week the Dolphins began to turn around with Moore at the helm. A blowout loss to the Jets in Moore’s first start led to a 3 point loss to Denver in the “Tim Tebow-Florida Gator” appreciation game. Another 3 point loss the following week to the Giants.
Then came Kansas City. Miami won 31-3 and won the next two as well. They would alternate wins and losses each week for the rest of the season. When the season was over, Matt Moore would have 16 TD passes to 9 interceptions, throw three yards shy of 2,500, complete 60% of his passes, and finish the season with an 87.1 quarterback rating.
More importantly, he won over the fan base and his teammates.
When the Dolphins drafted Ryan Tannehill in 2012 many believed and hoped that Matt Moore would retain the starting job while Tannehill learned the ropes at this level but Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman had other ideas and Moore has been sitting in the background since.
Moore is capable and he already has the trust and respect of his teammates. He earned that on the field and he earned it off the field. Moore isn’t Ryan Tannehill but it’s highly unlikely that Adam Gase is going to expect him to be Tannehill. Instead, Gase will likely adjust his play calling to fit Moore’s skill set instead.
It will be interesting if Gase can win with Moore down the final stretch of the season and it could be very fun to watch…or like those boo-birds are saying, the season will be over sooner than we all had hoped.