After a week filled with trash-talking back and forth between the two teams, the Miami Dolphins dominated the New York Jets 30-9 in Week 8. While things went about as well as they possibly could on the scoreboard, the Dolphins' fourth win of the season didn't come without cost.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Miami's first round pick in last April's NFL draft, injured his left knee and quadriceps muscle in the first quarter and was unable to return, leaving it to six-year veteran Matt Moore to enter the game and lead Miami to victory.
Head coach Joe Philbin had no word on the severity of Tannehill's injury after the game, according to the Associated Press via Fox News, while Moore praised his teammates and said that he was glad that the gumflapping was done and the matter was settled on the field,
"It feels good to do no more talking and feels even better to back it up," Moore said. "Our special teams put us in great situation to win this, but we were ready as soon as we stepped off the bus."
Moore was solid, if unspectacular, under center in relief of Tannehill, completing 11-of-19 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, and the question from a fantasy perspective now becomes what effect Moore will have on the Miami offense if Tannehill is sidelined for any length of time.
From the standpoint of Moore himself, his fantasy appeal is minimal. The 28-year-old showed to be a capable player in 12 starts for the Dolphins last year, throwing for nearly 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns, but Moore is much more game manager than gunslinger.
The bigger story will be what effect Moore's insertion into the starting lineup would have on receivers such as Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. In that respect, it's hard to tell from what we saw in Sunday's action outside the fact that neither receiver had more than 41 receiving yards, and given Moore's reputation as a dinker and dunker, it's not unreasonable to assume that the vertical passing game in Miami might suffer somewhat.
Looking at last year's numbers really doesn't help, either. Brandon Marshall was far and away Miami's top wideout a season ago, and while Bess had more receptions, his and Hartline's yardage totals were nearly identical, so it doesn't appear that Moore favors one receiver over the other.
Frankly, this could all be much ado about nothing, as it could turn out that Tannehill's injury isn't serious and the youngster from Texas A&M is back under center next week.
However, if Tannehill is forced to miss some time, the surprisingly 4-3 Dolphins should consider themselves lucky that they have Moore as a backup option, as it doesn't appear that the impact on the Miami offense from either an NFL or fantasy perspective will be significantly negative.