Dolphins Notebook

Tough debut for Miami Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore

 
 
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill sits on the field after being sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end Kyle Williams in the fourth quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium, in Buffalo, NY, on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Tannehill limped off the field and was replaced by backup quarterback Matt Morre.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill sits on the field after being sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end Kyle Williams in the fourth quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium, in Buffalo, NY, on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Tannehill limped off the field and was replaced by backup quarterback Matt Morre.
CHARLES TRAINOR JR / STAFF PHOTO

abeasley@MiamiHerald.com

Matt Moore waited all season to see the field. The way his 2013 debut went, he surely would like another crack at it.

Thrust into the game when Ryan Tannehill left in the fourth quarter with a minor knee injury, Moore completed as many passes to the Bills as he did the Dolphins.

Despite just six passing attempts, Moore threw two interceptions — the first to Jim Leonhard that all but ended the game. Down 13-0, Moore had just hooked up with Brian Hartline for a 50-yard completion when he made a bad throw in the middle of the field.

He was also picked off on the Dolphins' final offensive play, when he was just chucking the ball downfield in desperation.

“You've got to go in there and try to make something happen, make some plays,” Moore said. “To throw the big interception was a backbreaker. One hundred percent on me. Can't do that. Have to be ready, poised, stay in the game, and keep going.

“[I was] trying to dig us out and make something happen,” Moore continued. "It just didn’t go our way.”

Getting grounded

Despite starting, Lamar Miller carried the ball just three times for eight yards Sunday.

The Dolphins instead went more with Daniel Thomas, who was a question mark to even play after re-injuring his ankle against the Patriots last week. Thomas was ineffective, however, totaling six yards on nine attempts.

“Yeah, I was surprised,” Miller said, when asked about the distribution of labor. “We need to do a better job just making plays when the opportunity is there.”

Down the line

Likewise, the Dolphins made an in-game change to their offensive line.

Sam Brenner again started at left guard after playing every offensive snap against the Patriots. But this time, he got a quick hook apparently due to ineffectiveness.

Nate Garner replaced him — even though that had not been the plan, as communicated to him during the week.

“I just do what the coaches tell me to do,” Garner said. “When they told me to go in, I went in.”

This and that

• The Dolphins got an early wakeup call Sunday. Somebody pulled the fire alarm at the team hotel just after 3 a.m.

• A week after injuries forced the Dolphins to play Mike Thomas on defense, they were back to full strength in the secondary. Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll and Jamar Taylor were all active. Will Davis filled in for Carroll on Sunday when he left briefly due to injury.

• Carroll had both an interception and the Dolphins' only sack Sunday.

•  Brandon Fields uncorked a 74-yard punt Sunday — the third-longest in franchise history.

• Dolphins inactives: Pat Devlin, Mike Gillislee, Jalil Brown, Chris Owens, Danny Watkins, David Arkin and A.J. Francis.

• The game-time temperature in Western New York was 41 degrees, with a windchill of 37. Winds reached 15-20 mph during the game. There were also periods of rain.

•  Mike Pouncey, Cameron Wake and Fields served as the team's captains Sunday.

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