Starter for now, Miami Dolphins QB Matt Moore says playoffs ‘big deal’

Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8), in action against the New England Patriots during NFL game Sunday January 01, 2017 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore in action against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

MIAMI GARDENS — So much has been made about Miami Dolphins such as Cameron Wake who have never appeared in an NFL playoff game.

It’s been a bit overlooked that starting quarterback — for now — Matt Moore has appeared in 45 games over 10 seasons, but never in a playoff game.

“It’s a big deal,” Moore said after Sunday’s loss to New England. “It’s hard to get there as a player. I’ve been there one time in 2008. I went as part of a team that was there in 2008 (Carolina Panthers) and that’s the only time. It’s a big deal. Obviously, put this one to bed and move forward and focus on next week, wherever it is, whoever we’re playing, we just have to be ready to go.”

Miami’s opponent is known, it’s Pittsburgh.

What’s not known is if Moore will make his fourth consecutive start for the Dolphins.

“I feel like he’s done a great job being in there,” Coach Adam Gase said. “He’s protected the football, he’s operated the offense very well, and he’s led those guys. He’s done a good job and we just have to build on what we’ve done the last three and a half games with him and just try to find a way to put him in the right position.”

Moore has a 2-1 record as starter, with 8 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and a very good passer rating of 105.6. On Sunday, Moore hit Jarvis Landry for an 8-yard touchdown and Kenny Stills for a 25-yard touchdown.

“It was just understanding what (the Patriots) were doing,” Moore said. “There was a lot of underneath stuff. Guys catching the ball and making plays underneath. Some short catch and runs. Obviously, just staying on the field, converting third downs. Got down in the red zone and took advantage of some things. They just forced us to be very patient and made it difficult for us.”

Gase said he won’t put Tannehill’s long-term future at risk. But Tannehill has been practicing drop-backs and it’s been three weeks since he sprained his ACL and MCL.

It is evident Tannehill wants to play. And even though his passer rating isn’t as good as Moore’s (93.5), he had been rolling before suffering the injury.

Gase has made clear Tannehill is the starter if he’s healthy enough and Gase is comfortable enough.

As a backup for most of his career, Moore prepared as though he might start. So presumably, Moore will continue to prepare as though he’s the starter until he’s told otherwise.

“It’s nice to know that we have a game next week and it is the biggest one and it’s kind of the same motto we’ve had all year ‘It’s the next one.'” Moore said. “I know it’s a playoff game, but I think guys just have to learn and kind of be a pro about this situation today and move forward and bring their best game next week.”

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