Somehow, someway, the Miami Dolphins have won four games this season when it seems like they go 3 & out every set of downs. Miami’s defense is strong and have been the backbone of the team for the first half of the season. But yesterday we saw a glimpse of what it would be like to have an offense take the pressure off the Phins D. His name is Matt Moore and many believed he should have been the starting quarterback from day one.
Jay Cutler has been an absolute bust so far and head coach Adam Gase has given his QB every opportunity to hold on to his job. The Dolphins are winning despite Cutler’s poor play. After yesterday’s comeback victory over the AFC East rival New York Jets, it will be hard to go back to Cutler even when he gets healthy. Matt Moore has been with the Dolphins since 2011 and knows this team and organization better than anyone on the roster. So it’s no mystery that Moore came into the game Sunday and had the offense flowing better than they have all season.
Living here in South Florida I can tell you that Miami Dolphin fans are sick of Cutler and demand more out of the quarterback position. As in Matt Moore! He’s more efficient and careful with the football than Cutler. He may not have the arm strength the former Chicago Bear does but Moore compensates for that in other ways.
Moore can scramble, extend plays and make the right decisions when a play breaks down. He won’t force a pass in a midget size window just to avoid taking a sack. He’ll throw the rock away instead and live to play another down.
Moore gave Dolphin fans plenty of hope as he relieved the injured Jay Cutler to fight back and defeat the Jets (31 – 28) on a late field goal. Moore went 13 for 21 passing with 188 yards and two touchdowns as Miami came back from a 4th quarter deficit for the second straight week. They shut out the Jets (17 – 0) in the final quarter to complete the victory and improve to (4 – 2), just a half game behind the defending champion Patriots and a tie with the Bills. All three teams won on Sunday.
In a somewhat weak AFC conference, the Dolphins organization knows they have a shot at making the post season in consecutive years since Dan Marino was the quarterback last century. I believe along with countless others, that Miami will have a better chance at the post season if Matt Moore were under center. True, Moore has barely played over the past 4 seasons but it appears he can still twist the pigskin after Sunday’s performance.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins long time back-up QB, he won’t have a full week of practice to prepare for his first start since the 2011 season. Miami hits the road to Baltimore in a Thursday night showdown between two teams fighting early for a wild card spot. I expect Adam Gase to simplify the offensive scheme for the upcoming contest with the Ravens just to get Moore back in the swing of things.
Perhaps it will take Moore a game or two before he feels fully comfortable calling plays and building a rapport with his offensive weapons. Most “experts” in the NFL world doubt Jay Cutler can make any real noise in the AFC. With that being the case, and I happen to agree, there’s no earthly reason why Moore shouldn’t be named the starter if he plays well on the road Thursday night.
Okay, so the desperate Dolphins gave Cutler $10 million to reunite with his former offensive coordinator Adam Gase in hopes they can regain the magic they had in Chicago. In all fairness to Cutler, he was thrown into the mix just before the 2017 season kicked off due to Ryan Tannehill’s season ending injury dating back to last year. But how long can the Dolphins wait for Cutler to figure it out as they sit at (4 – 2) and in prime position for a wild card berth?
The organization will need to take some sort of poll from the players and coaches to see which quarterback they want taking the snaps. Sounds pretty corny to have a secret ballot but the players know who they want leading their team better than anyone because, well, they play and practice on the same field every day. I’d bet the Phins defense would unanimously vote for Moore because they’re sick and tired of carrying this team.
To be fair it’s not just Cutler. Jay Ajayi needs to step it up and the offensive line needs to improve as well. Getting DeVante Parker back will be vital for the long ball and when he returns, Miami will have one of the best trio’s at wide receiver in the league. Kenny Stills caught a couple of TD’s against the Jets and Jarvis Landry was probably the MVP of the game as he made a ton of clutch plays. He grabbed a touchdown catch as well and caught seven balls for 93 yards. He’s still their go to guy when a play needs to be made.
So do the Dolphins ride it out with Cutler when he returns or go with veteran Matt Moore as they make a run at the playoffs?!