The Miami Dolphins will play their first postseason game since 2008 on Sunday at AFC North champion and heavy favorite Pittsburgh without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has been officially ruled out.
It's not a big surprise that Tannehill won't suit up against Pittsburgh. He has missed the past three games with a strained MCL and ACL in his left knee and that's generally a 4-6 week injury. When Miami dominated visiting Pittsburgh 30-15 in Week 6, Tannehill was 24-for-32 for 252 yards. He didn't throw a TD pass but didn't turn it over, either. Miami dominated that day largely due to its running game.
So journeyman backup Matt Moore makes his fourth straight start. He has led wins over the Jets and Bills and a loss to New England. Overall on the season, Moore is 55-for-87 for 721 yards with eight touchdowns, three interceptions and a very good rating of 105.6. That rating is superior to Tannehill’s 93.5, and Moore is averaging 8.3 yards a pass to Tannehill’s 7.7. But Moore isn't near the runner Tannehill is. Moore also never played in a postseason game, although neither has Tannehill.
The Dolphins are the biggest wild-card underdogs on the NFL betting board at +10. Miami started the season 1-4 to make the playoffs with a 10-6 record. The Dolphins are the ninth team since 1990 to qualify for the postseason after starting a season with a 1-4 record. With a win Sunday, the Dolphins would become the sixth team since 1990 to win a postseason game after beginning a season with a 1-4 record. The Chiefs did it last season with a 30-0 win in Houston.
Moore is +1000 on Bovada NFL odds to throw for more yards than any quarterback this weekend. Should the Fins pull the upset, it is possible Tannehill plays in the divisional round at New England.