With the possible season ending injury to Ryan Tannehill the Dolphins have to start exploring other options at the quarterback position. Names such as Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick have been brought up, but neither Cutler nor Kaepernick should be starting for Miami when the 2017 season starts.
The Dolphins already have their guy. Matt Moore has been the backup quarterback in Miami for six seasons, and should be starting when the Dolphins take the field at Hard Rock Stadium week one against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Moore came in for Tannehill at the end of the third quarter in week 14 at Arizona last season. Right away he showed Adam Gase and the rest of the team that he was capable to lead. He went three for five for 47 yards in the fourth quarter, and two of those completions came in the final minute of play when the game was tied at 23.
Moore hit Stills both times for 39 yards to put Miami at the Cardinals two-yard line, and set up Andrew Franks for the game winning field goal. People forget about that because Tannehill got the win in the stat sheet, but that was Matt Moore’s “save”, to put it in baseball terms.
Moore finished the season with a completion percentage of 63.2, threw for 721 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions, and the Dolphins went 2-1 over the final three games which put them in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
In the playoff game against the Steelers, Moore went 29 for 36 (80.6%), threw for 289 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, but everybody remembers Moore getting blindsided by James Harrison and fumbling the ball inside the red zone right before halftime. The Dolphins did not lose that game because of Matt Moore. They lost because the defense could not get a stop, and Moore got sacked five times which killed offensive drives.
Yes, it was a small sample size, but the Dolphins have seen what Matt Moore can do. He can lead a team to wins, and he knows the offense well.
The only real sample size we have from Matt Moore came back in 2011. Moore started 12 games for Miami that year, and went 6-6 with 2,497 yards, 16 TD, and 9 INT. It is tough to judge that season now because Moore is running a whole different offense under Adam Gase.
Leadership plays a role in this decision as well, and no matter who the Dolphins bring in they will not have as much respect from the team as Matt Moore.
Matt Moore’s leadership and familiarity with the Dolphins receivers is the reason Moore should be the starting quarterback over Cutler.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN discussed Culter’s lack of leadership on First Take today.
Leadership is crucial to the quarterback position, and if what Smith says is true, the Dolphins should not even think about Jay Cutler. It does not matter what his numbers were under Gase, or the relationship that the quarterback and coach have. If Cutler cannot rally the troops, and get the offense to believe in him, the offense will fail.
As for Kaepernick, he has not had a winning season in the NFL since 2013. He is 3-16 in his last two seasons as an NFL starter. The 49ers are not a good football team, but with a good quarterback they would have won more than three games in the 21 starts Kaepernick made.
I am not trying to say Moore is a guy who can lead the Dolphins to 10 wins and the playoffs. That is not going to happen with anyone other than Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. However, the best guy for the job is already there, anyone else should be competing for the backup role.