Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after throwing a 52 yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills #10 against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Matt Moore was fire. He hadn’t started a game in five years. Whatever. Matt Moore was straight fire. Ryan Tannehill hadn’t passed for four touchdowns in a game this season. And Moore did it before the third quarter was over. Moore caught fire in the second quarter, hitting DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, MarQueis Gray and Dion Sims in sequence on a touchdown drive. Moore played with fearlessness, composure and accuracy. What a week for Moore, whose week began with the birth of son Wyatt and concluded with a career-high in touchdown passes. Moore, 32, is in the best position of his career. He has a chance to lead a team with plenty of skill at wide receiver and running back, into the playoffs.
- Cameron Wake is a rocket. In the first half, Wake forced a fumble when he exploded into Jets quarterback Bryce Petty. Wake is playing some of the best football of his career. And it is fair to ask if ramping him up in his return from an Achilles injury was actually a stroke of genius. Here the Dolphins are, late in a playoff push, and Wake seems fresh and explosive. At 34. Impossible to explain. Wake dropped back and intercepted Petty. It was the first interception of Wake’s career. Only Wake and Jason Taylor have forced a fumble and intercepted a pass as a Dolphins defensive lineman.
- Miami has cornerback… depth?!? When Byron Maxwell left the game with an ankle injury, Xavien Howard stepped in and did an excellent job, at times on Brandon Marshall. And Tony Lippett made a really athletic interception. In the fourth quarter, he had a second interception. It was his second game with two interceptions. Howard really didn’t show many signs of his two knee injuries this season. Lippett continued to show how he has gained confidence and improved his view of the field. If Maxwell’s injury is not serious, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has a tremendous luxury. Before the season, cornerback was viewed as a potentially crippling weakness. Now Joseph can rotate three cornerbacks who are all capable of playing at an above-average level or better.
- Darren Rizzi’s special teams crew strikes again. Last week, safety Walt Aikens had a two-point score. This week, Aikens blocked a punt and scooped and scored. Miami has had an advantage on special teams many weeks. They’ve been strong at punt return, kick return, punting and coverage teams. The one area of concern from Saturday’s game is kicker Andrew Franks, who missed an extra point. Franks had been perfect on extra points this season, but missed three in 2015.
- Jay Ajayi and Jarvis Landry are legitimate #1 running back/wide receiver. Each player topped 1,000 yards on Saturday night. It’s only the second time in franchise history the team has had a running back and wide receiver accomplish the feat in the same season. Before the season, some wondered if Arian Foster would be Miami’s workhorse back. Nope. Before the season, some wondered if DeVante Parker would surpass Landry as Miami’s go-to wide receiver. Nope. It is entirely possible that in Ajayi, Miami has a Top 10 running back. And entirely possible that in Landry, Miami has a Top 10 wide receiver. And for coach and playcaller Adam Gase, those are two outstanding weapons to build an offense around.
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