In the Miami Dolphins' first game since Thanksgiving, fans were treated to a heaping pile of leftovers, starring backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. With Tua Tagovailoa on the sidelines thanks to a thumb injury sustained in practice, it was out with the new and in with the old.
The result was a sleepy, mistake-filled 20-3 win over the New York Jets. As an unintended and less-thrilling result, fans and media alike are debating which quarterback should lead the 7-4 Dolphins the rest of the way.
Sometimes, a win feels like a loss. Having a needless quarterback controversy arise in a win against an 0-11 team might qualify as one of those times.
Dolphins end the day with the sixth seed in the AFC playoff race and the 11th and 21st picks in the first round of the draft.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) November 29, 2020
After head coach Brian Flores unnecessarily benched Tua in last week's loss to the Denver Broncos, the Dolphins' fifth-overall pick was quickly named the starter for this weekend's game against the Jets. Just another teachable moment, right? Everything seemed fine, and everyone could forget about the minor speed bump in Tua's career.
Until he jammed a thumb against a defender's helmet in practice, making Fitzpatrick once again the man taking the snaps against a team that, predictably, did little to stop him.
"Fitzmagic" finished the game 24 of 39 for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Nothing special by most quarterback standards, but just enough to convince some fans and analysts that the Dolphins' rookie quarterback should stay on the bench while the steady veteran leads the way.
After the game, Flores told reporters they need to chill out. He once again made it abundantly clear that Tua Tagovailoa is the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Maybe next week, sure, but excuse us if we aren't certain that's written in black ink for the rest of the season.
Flores on Tua: "If he's healthy, he's the guy. I don't know how many different ways I have to say it."— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) November 29, 2020
Things don't get all that challenging for the Dolphins next week as they face the 2-8-1 Cincinnati Bengals without quarterback Joe Burrow. It probably doesn't matter who starts against the Bengals, but that won't stop everyone from arguing about which guy it should be.
The Dolphins can still win the AFC East, and they certainly can still make the playoffs. The only question is which quarterback should lead them in pursuit of those goals.
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