BALTIMORE — Matt Moore couldn’t wait for his first start of the season. Just four days earlier, the Dolphins quarterback came off the bench to rescue Miami in a comeback win.
Given the opportunity to run the show from the beginning, the 33-year-old quarterback delivered a clunker of a performance in a 40-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.
Moore went 25 for 44 for 176 yards. He was sacked three times and both his interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
Frustrating? Believe it, especially after Moore was so sharp in place of injured Jay Cutler on Sunday. Inserted in the second half after Cutler cracked his ribs, Moore brought the Dolphins back from a 14-point deficit in a 31-28 victory over the New York Jets.
Then came Thursday night.
“You don’t ever go into a week preparing and expect it to turn out like this,” Moore said. “We got to figure some stuff out. I got to figure some stuff out. Just got to get better moving forward.”
He had no excuse for the interceptions. Linebacker C.J. Mosley went 63 yards for a score, and Jimmy Smith took his 50 yards to the house.
“On the first one, he made a heck of a play. He just jumped up there and caught it,” Moore said. “On the second one, (Smith) sat back a little bit and waited for me to throw.”
The Dolphins sputtered offensively earlier in the season, scoring only six points against the Jets before being blanked by New Orleans.
This game conjured memories of that dry stretch.
“We’re just inept. We’re not doing anything right now,” coach Adam Gase said. “When you play a game like that and get shut out again, you just have to start looking at if it’s one guy, multiple guys.”
It wasn’t all Moore’s fault. The Dolphins generated only 45 yards on the ground, and that including a 21-yard jaunt by Jay Ajayi on the second play from scrimmage.
“I’m trying to figure out reasons why we can’t sustain drives,” Gase said. “You start looking at everything from, ‘Are we calling the right things? Why can’t we get it to third-and- manageable? Are we using the right people?'”
Gase was asked if Cutler might be ready in time to face Oakland on Nov. 5.
“I’m not 100 percent sure,” he replied. “Monday, he ran with the team and then he threw. He felt pretty good. I wasn’t going to put him out there tonight, and I think it was the smart thing to do.”
Cutler or Moore, it may not matter for the up-and-down Dolphins.
“Right now, we’re so inconsistent,” Gase said. “We’re just all over the place.”