Moore sets ca­reer high with 4 TDs as Mi­ami routs Jets

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Matt Moore’s first game as Ryan Tan­nehill’s re­place­ment was the best of his ca­reer. The nine-year veteran stepped in Satur­day night by throw­ing for four touch­downs in keep­ing the Mi­ami Dol­phins’ play­off hopes very much alive with a 34-13 rout of the New York Jets.

In his first start since Jan. 1, 2012 - a Dol­phins vic­tory over the Jets, with cur­rent New York coach Todd Bowles serv­ing as in­terim Mi­ami coach - Moore picked apart the mis­take-prone hosts.

He hit Dion Sims for a pair of 1-yard TDs and Kenny Stills for 52 and Jarvis Landry for 66 in Mi­ami’s eighth win in its last night games. The Dol­phins (9-5) clinched their first win­ning sea­son since 2008, the last time they won the AFC East. Should Moore (12 for 18 for 236 yards) con­tinue such strong play, they cer­tainly can be op­ti­mistic about play­ing in the post­sea­son. “There were some nerves and maybe it showed a lit­tle early,” said Moore, whose wife gave birth to son Wy­att yes­ter­day. “We started slow, but got in the groove in the mid­dle part. Once we got go­ing, that neg­a­tive stuff wore offf and I got on a roll. Credit these guys for get­ting us go­ing and mak­ing plays. Once those guys got the ball in their hands, it was im­pres­sive.”

The Jets (4-10) have lost as many games as they won in 2015, Bowles’ first sea­son in charge. They also lost sec­ondyear quar­ter­back Bryce Petty on the first play of the fourth quar­ter af­ter he was squashed by Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake and in­jured his chest.

For good mea­sure, the Dol­phins threw in an 11-yard blocked punt re­turn touch­down by Walt Aiken. “The de­fense did a great job with turnovers, just caus­ing prob­lems,” coach Adam Gase said. “The pres­sure was re­lent­less. And Walt is a guy mak­ing a huge im­pact on spe­cial teams, just now it’s re­sult­ing in points.”

The game was com­pet­i­tive for a half. For once, the Jets started quickly. They were aw­ful in the first half of their last two out­ings, but Petty im­me­di­ately guided them 75 yards in seven plays for a 7-0 lead. Robby An­der­son, com­ing on at re­ceiver late in the year, badly beat Bacarri Rambo on a cross­ing pat­tern and sped into the end zone.

It took a re­play chal­lenge by Gase to get an in­com­ple­tion over­turned into Sims’ first 1-yard touch­down pass early in the sec­ond quar­ter - Moore’s first TD throw since Week 8 of 2012, also against the Jets. An­drew Franks’ ex­tra point kick hit the left up­right, his first miss this sea­son. Eighth-year de­fen­sive end Wake’s first ca­reer in­ter­cep­tion on an aw­ful throw by Petty thwarted an­other New York threat in the open­ing half. And the Dol­phins stopped Bi­lal Pow­ell on a fourth-and-1 run near mid­field.

“He has that knack of tim­ing,” Gase said about Wake. “He knows there are mo­ments that can swing a game.” Those plays set up Moore’s per­fect pass to Stills be­hind rookie cor­ner­back Justin Bur­ris for a 13-7 lead. Pow­ell had a big first half with 113 yards to­tal of­fense. But it only helped get 10 points; Nick Folk made a 48-yard field goal with 18 sec­onds left. Pow­ell gained only 36 yards in the sec­ond half. The Dol­phins were out­gained by 225 yards to 129, yet went to the locker room ahead 13-10.

From there, it was all Mi­ami, get­ting Aikens’ and Landry’s scores and Sims’ sec­ond TD. “Oh, they were pre­pared, but when we play like that, it all falls on me,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “It starts at the top. I’ve got to do a bet­ter job, and they’ve got to do a bet­ter job. But it starts with me.”

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