Moore-led Miami rolls on the road
east rutherford, n.j.» Matt Moore’s first game as Ryan Tannehill’s replacement was the best of his NFL career.
The nine-year veteran QB 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 struggling 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.
Moore hit Dion Sims for a pair of 1-yard TD passes and Kenny Stills for 52 and Jarvis Landry for 61 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-of-18 passing for 236 yards) continue such strong play, they certainly can be optimistic about playing in the postseason.
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 had the wind knocked out of him.
For good measure, Miami threw in an 11-yard return of a blocked punt for a score.
The game was competitive for only 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 wide 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 Dolphins coach Adam Gase to get an incompletion overturned into Sims’ first 1-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter — Moore’s first TD throw since Week 8 of 2012, also against the Jets.