Yesterday’s 20-13 loss to the Denver Broncos was disappointing.
The Broncos offense ran the ball effectively, and Drew Lock looked more like the quarterback Denver thought they had at the beginning of the 2020 season. But despite how effectively the Broncos offense was, Vic Fangio’s defense caused the Dolphins the most issues.
Denver’s front-four manhandled the Dolphins’ inexperienced offensive line, sacking Tua Tagovailoa six times. Tagovailoa looked off from the very first snap, and although the team strung together an impressive drive before the half (field goal), they struggled for most of the day.
And that ultimately led to Dolphins head coach Brian Flores deciding to bench Miami’s rookie quarterback in favor of the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“No. No, Tua wasn’t injured. We just felt like it was the best move at that point in the game. We had to get to two-minute mode and we just felt like he gave us the best chance to win the game which we had an opportunity at the end – to tie it, I should say.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick did add a spark offensively, leading the Dolphins’ offense downfield, given them one last chance to tie the game late. But like we’ve seen time and time again throughout Fitzpatrick’s 17-year-career, this drive ended with an interception.
justin simmons picks fitzpatrick in the end zone and puts the game on ice. pic.twitter.com/RxePRyiLKS— josh houtz (@houtz) November 23, 2020
The question now on everyone’s mind was whether or not this quarterback decision would be long-term. When Flores was asked whether or not there would be changes, his answer was straight and to the point.
Which should be a surprise to no one.
Tua Tagovailoa is the future quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. And we can all agree Tua must play better, but the same can be said about Miami’s offensive line and skill players as well. Chan Gailey needs to put the team in better positions to succeed and utilize some of the talent they have (ANTONIO CALLAWAY/MATT BREIDA).
However, what matters most is Tagovailoa knows he must play better and fully understands the move to Fitzpatrick.
“My thoughts were whatever was going to be best for the team. When I was in, we couldn’t really get things going and Coach felt like it was the best decision to put ‘Fitz’ (QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) in to give us a spark. When I heard that–it’s really what’s best for the team. If we were to win with Fitz in there, the locker room would be a lot different and everyone would be a lot happier. It just sucks to lose.”
In the end, everyone will overreact about this loss to Denver, but why should they? This is the national football league and the Dolphins were NOT going 4-0 over this stretch. They now need to turn things around quickly vs the New York Jets and former head coach Adam Gase.