Just last week, Clyde Christensen joked that "gunslingers" who are careless usually end up "dead because [they] got shot. Those guys are all extinct and three feet under now."
Well, in the first half of Saturday's wild win over the Bills, Moore looked like one of the bad guys on the wrong end of Dirty Harry's Smith & Wesson.
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Indeed, it seemed early as though the Dolphins would have to win in spite of Moore, not because of him.
Before intermission, he had just 57 passing on yards on 5 of 14 attempts.
Even worse, Moore took points off the board when he threw a head-scratching end-zone interception to Corey White, who had inside position on Kenny Stills.
"I didn’t get him in a very good rhythm," said Adam Gase, the Dolphins' coach and offensive play-caller. "It was a little spotty when we were going into the wind."
The wind was indeed a factor Saturday; Moore called it "challenging," particularly on long throws. The Dolphins tried to "shorten the quarter up" when fighting the elements, Gase said.
But the Dolphins went into that same wind in the third quarter, when Moore was excellent.
In fact, he was a different quarterback after the break, going 11 of 16 for 176, two touchdowns and no interceptions after intermission.
His passer rating was 19.0 through two quarters, but jumped to 144.8 in the second half and overtime.
"Matt’s job [Saturday] was really to fill in the pieces and be great on third down," Gase added. "We needed him to be accurate."
When Jay Ajayi runs like he did Saturday, they don't need a whole lot more than that. Ajayi went over 200 yards for the third time this season, including twice against the Bills. But if Moore didn't wake up in the second half, the Dolphins would have had no chance Saturday. Buffalo scored on all four of their second-half drives, erasing a two-touchdown Dolphins advantage and actually taking a three-point lead in the game's 80 seconds.
The Dolphins looked cooked. But Moore, in his second start since Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury, made two critical completions to give Andrew Franks a look at a game-tying 55-yard field goal. Franks made it, and the Dolphins won in overtime.
Moore, who has six touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 113.4 this year, will have the starting job for however long Tannehill is out. Tannehill is out of a cast and walked around the locker room without crutches, which he said was "great news." The Dolphins hope he's back in time for the playoffs.
So here's the question, Miami Dolphins:
Do you feel lucky?
▪ The Dolphins' 9-1 record in their last 10 games is incredible for so many reasons, but none more so than this: Their defense isn't just bad. It's historically bad.
If the Patriots gain at least 345 yards in next Sunday's finale, the Dolphins will have surrendered the most yards in a season in the team's 51-year history. After allowing an absurd 589 in Saturday night's win over Buffalo, the Dolphins ranked 30th league-wide in total defense (381.7 yards per game) heading into Sunday's action.
That is more per game than what Miami gave up in 1986 (378.1), when opposing teams gained a franchise-worst 6,070 yards.
The Dolphins also rank 30th in rush defense, allowing 141.8 per game -- most since their one-win 2007 campaign.
So how are the Dolphins 10-5 and talking playoffs? Because they're first in third-down defense (34.7 percent), tied for 10th in turnover margin (plus-4), 14th in scoring defense (23 per game) and 17th in yards per play allowed (5.6),
▪ Mario Williams' astonishing fade continues. The former No. 1 overall pick was on the field for just 13 snaps Saturday, and didn't record a tackle, a quarterback hit or a pass defense. Williams said last week that he's been dealing with a lower leg/ankle injury for most of the season and could need surgery.
▪ Players and coaches were given Christmas Day off. They'll return to work Monday.