The last time Matt Moore started a game for the Miami Dolphins was on New Year’s Day 2012 in a victory over the New York Jets.
Here we go again.
Moore will likely get his first start for the Dolphins since the final game of the 2011 season when Miami visits the Meadowlands on Saturday night after Ryan Tannehill suffered a left knee injury Sunday.
On Monday, coach Adam Gase said the injury to Tannehill isn’t as severe as first thought – it’s a MCL/ACL sprain, not a tear – yet there is no word on when No. 17 will be back.
So, while the Dolphins haven’t seen much of Moore in some time, what can they expect from Moore?
In 2011, Moore took over for Chad Henne as Miami’s starting quarterback when Henne was injured in a Week 4 loss to the Chargers.
With the Dolphins starting that season 0-7, many fans openly rooted against their team in a so-called ‘Suck for Luck’ – as in, lose for the top overall draft pick and Stanford star quarterback Andrew Luck.
Well, Moore – who came to Miami after four seasons with Carolina before the 2011 season – ended up passing for 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions as Miami won six of its final nine in a season in which Tony Sparano was fired following a loss to the Eagles with three games left.
Luck went first to the 2-14 Colts, as Miami and new coach Joe Philbin drafted Tannehill with the eighth overall pick.
Moore, 32, said he has had opportunities to move on from the Dolphins since, but has signed on to remain Tannehill’s backup despite playing sparingly over the past five years because Tannehill has been so reliable.
Since Tannehill arrived in Miami, Moore has completed just eight of 16 passes for 266 yards in seven games over the past five seasons – including Sunday.
If Tannehill misses Saturday’s game in New Jersey, it will be the first time he does so since coming to the Dolphins from Texas A&M in 2012 – a run of 77 consecutive starts coming to an end.
“Whatever we’ve got to do to win,” Miami offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod told reporters following Sunday’s game.
“I mean that’s the situation, if it has to go there, then that’s the situation that we have to deal with. Matt’s been in this league for nine or 10 years, I believe. He’s played in a lot of games. He’s started a lot of games so if things go that way, go in that direction, then we have to rally behind our guy. That’s all we can do.”
Moore had a busy Monday as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported his wife was being induced with the couples’ third child.
On Sunday, Moore came in and was 3-of-5 for 47 yards in Miami’s 26-23 victory over Arizona which was won on a last-second field goal from Andrew Franks.
“My focus right now is get ready to go,” Moore said Sunday.
“If I have to go, then be ready to go, and that’s it. You talk about where we’re at as a team, you can’t ask for much more. The ball is in our court. We just have to execute and play one week at a time.”
As for Saturday’s game, Moore is 1-1 against the Jets while with the Dolphins as his first — and perhaps until Saturday — his final starts for Miami came against New York.
On Oct. 17, 2011, Moore made his first start for the Dolphins in New Jersey and passed for 204 yards with two interceptions in a 24-6 loss as Miami dropped to 0-5.
In the 2011 season finale in Miami Gardens, Moore threw a fourth quarter touchdown pass to Charles Clay as the Dolphins beat Mark Sanchez and the Jets 19-17 to finish 6-10.
“You’ve got to go next man up just like every other position,” Gace said on Sunday.
“That’s why we signed Matt back this offseason. It was one of those things where he looking, we were kind of looking, and at the end of the day – when we had our meeting – we felt like it was the right fit for both of us.
“I just know that I’m glad he’s here.”