Can Matt Moore Lead Dolphins In Tight AFC East Race?

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IOctober 28, 2012

Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) looks to the sideline for a play during the second half at MetLIfe Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 30-9.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Dolphins (4-3) may not be without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill for any significant time, but it appears the team would be in sound hands with Matt Moore if indeed Tannehill was lost for a week or two. 

Tannehill, Miami's first-round pick in 2012, left early in the first half of the Dolphins' 30-9 win over the New York Jets Sunday. The initial diagnosis did not appear serious, and that was echoed after the game by the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin. 

According to Volin, Tannehill suffered a hyperextended knee and deep thigh bruise. He'll undergo an MRI Monday, but Tannehill is expecting to play next Sunday and likely could have re-entered today's game had an emergency situation arose. 

That said, Moore did just fine in leading the Dolphins in Tannehill's absence. 

A 12-game starter for the Dolphins last season, Moore completed 11 of 19 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. His passer rating was a solid 96.6. 

Miami scored on four different possessions after Moore took over, including a touchdown from Moore to tight end Anthony Fasano that put the Dolphins up 27-3 in the third quarter. 

Moore also completed passes of 37 yards to Marlon Moore and 30 yards to newcomer Jabar Gaffney. He wasn't the difference in the score line, but Moore did more than enough to keep the Dolphins humming along once Tannehill was forced from the game. 

If Tannehill can't go in the following weeks, Moore could resume that role in winnable games against the 4-3 Indianapolis Colts on the road and 3-5 Tennessee Titans at home. 

At 4-3, the Dolphins sit just one game back in the win column of the New England Patriots, who currently lead the AFC East. Getting to 5-3 or 6-3, even if Tannehill can't go, would keep Miami right in the thick of the division race over the second half.

Moore, a six-game winner last season, showed again Sunday that he's capable of getting that done.