That makes Miami’s 31-28, come-from-behind win over the New York Jets even more impressive, as Moore threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns after starter Jay Cutler was knocked out of the game with a chest injury.
Moore won his third game for the Dolphins dating to last season. At this point, there should be no ifs, ands or buts about who should be under center Thursday night when the Dolphins travel to play the Baltimore Ravens.
The Dolphins’ offense, which entered Sunday ranked last in yards per game and points per game with Cutler, needed a spark. Moore provided it. His abundance of energy and loose mentality were just what Miami needed after playing tight offensively in the first five games.
“We all know what Matt can do,” Dolphins Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry said. “He came in, he wasn’t shaken up or anything like that. He found a way to help us out, and that’s what it takes. Guys stepping up, even when they don’t even think they’re going to play [on Sunday].
Cutler injured in Dolphins' win over Jets
Matt Moore replaces Jay Cutler and throws two touchdowns in the final 12 minutes and a late field goal seals the Dolphins' win over the Jets.
“Stepping up to make plays -- it’s just part of this culture, it’s part of who we are.”
It is also part of Moore's mentality.
The nine-year veteran won two key games last year to help get the Dolphins into the postseason for the first time since 2008. Sunday’s game was important as well. Miami improved to 4-2 and earned its first AFC East win of the season.
Moore entered the game trailing the Jets by seven points and that lead ballooned to 14 points in the fourth quarter. Moore’s readiness and playmaking ability, which included two touchdowns to receiver Kenny Stills, prevented Miami from getting swept by the Jets and falling back to .500.
“A lot of things are out of my control, but I try to go to work every day and just do my job,” Moore said. “I am big believer that every person on the team has a role, whatever the circumstances are.”
Dolphins coach Adam Gase was noncommittal on his starting quarterback for Thursday. He's waiting on Cutler’s X-ray and MRI results, which is understandable. Cutler was Gase’s handpicked quarterback after Ryan Tannehill went down in training camp with a season-ending knee injury. Miami has $10 million invested in Cutler for this season. Ideally, Gase doesn’t want to pull the plug on Cutler in Week 7.
But Cutler’s chest injury likely will make the decision for Gase. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Dolphins believe Cutler has two cracked ribs that could sideline the quarterback for two to three weeks. That should give Moore at least a game or two to audition for the starting job for the rest of the season.
Moore has been overlooked in Miami time and time again. It's time that the Dolphins finally give him the keys to the offense.