Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler has not cleared the concussion protocol and will not play on Sunday against the New England Patriots. Instead, the Dolphins will play back-up quarterback Matt Moore.
Jay Cutler is OUT for Sunday. Matt Moore will start.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) November 24, 2017
Moore started the 2016 finale for the Dolphins against the Patriots and completed 24 of 34 (70.6%) for 205 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception for a passer rating of 93.4. He’s 0-3 against the Patriots as a starter, completing 57.3% of his passes for 683 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
As far as back-up quarterbacks are concerned, Moore is a pretty good option. He’s in his seventh year with the Dolphins after three with the Carolina Panthers. Over the past two years he’s completed 110 of 180 attempts (61.1%) for 1,367 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions for a passer rating of 91.1. The Dolphins could do much worse.
According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, both Moore and Cutler rank in the top five for fastest times to throw the ball as they try to avoid sacks. But while Cutler’s average completed pass was 5.3 yards down the field, the second-shortest distance in the NFL, Moore’s average completion was 7.7 yards down the field, tied for the sixth-deepest. Moore is also one of the most aggressive quarterbacks in the NFL (5th-most) at throwing into tight coverage, while Cutler is one of the least aggressive (t-10th-least).
So the Patriots need to be more aware against the deep ball with Moore than they were against Cutler and they need to be aware of all the additional interception opportunities.