Brian Flores: Tua Tagovailoa will start Week 17

Miami Dolphins v Las Vegas Raiders
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FitzMagic will not be making a triumphant return to Buffalo next weekend. At least not initially.

After quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick helped the Dolphins to an improbable win over the Raiders with an involuntary no-look throw for the ages on Saturday night, coach Brian Flores told reporters that rookie Tua Tagovailoa will start the Week 17 game at Buffalo.

The Dolphins have a win-and-in mandate against the Bills. And Fitzpatrick would surely relish the chance to face one of the various teams for which he previously played with the season on the line.

Of course, Tua starting and Tua finishing represent two very different propositions. Flores hasn’t been shy about removing Tua from the game for Fitzpatrick, and it apparently hasn’t affected Tua’s confidence.

The Dolphins could need a similar bump from Fitzpatrick next weekend, or beyond. Flores has a knack for knowing when to flip the switch, and for knowing how to keep an in-game benching from messing with Tua.

Whether that will apply in 2021 is an issue for 2021, starting with the question of whether the Dolphins can or will keep Fitzpatrick for 2021. Regardless, Flores has the Dolphins on the brink of their first playoff berth since 2016 and only their second since 2008, and Fitzpatrick helped deliver that reality with his stellar performance on Saturday night night, in a game that instantly rivals Ravens-Browns as one of the best in recent years.

As the saying goes, when you have two quarterbacks, you have none. For the Dolphins, they have two quarterbacks. Knowing when and where to switch from one to the other could dictate how far the 2020 Dolphins can go.

37 responses to “Brian Flores: Tua Tagovailoa will start Week 17

  1. The Dolphins previously had a relatively effective two-headed QB with Don Strock and David Woodley… aka Strockley, aka Woodstrock.

  2. Tua has been garbage. Fitzpatrick has been lights out and the Phins are a contender with him at QB. It’s that simple.

  3. Tua is not ready for a playoff run. Period. One blown coverage in the final seconds saved Miami from self inflicted disaster. I cannot figure out the media’s infatuation with an indecisive rookie who averages about five feet per completion.

  4. Ok Flores & Greer; I am sure you both could see clearly how the Raiders could not pull away until they went DEEP. Miami MUST sign Kenny Stills if they want to make the playoffs. If Miami signs Kenny Stills I GUARANTEE that they will make the playoffs and possibly the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!! I also recommend that Miami signs CAMERON WAKE to fill in at DE. There is no time to waste; sign Stills & Wake PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. The Dolphins due to injuries and receivers opting out do not have much talent at the Wide Receiver position. That diminishes both Tua and Ryan’s abilities. Ryan due to his experience and better awareness of the offense goes through his progressions more quickly which is why Flores makes the QB change when necessary! Flores should get the ‘Coach of the Year’ award for making all the right moves at the right time.

  6. They went to the playoffs in 2016. Please get your information correct before posting. It is pathetic that you guys constantly make these type of mistakes and damages your small amount of credibility you even have anyways. Geez.

  7. If Buffalo plays their starters, I think Fitzy sees plenty of playtime, and I hope he does. He slings it with no fear and you hang on for the ride. And Buffalo still loves Fitzy, so it would be a pretty great homecoming.

  8. There’s a long history in this league of rookie quarterbacks getting benched multiple times and eventually becoming great.

  9. Great game last night wether you think raiders blew it , or dolphins won it . There should be no way Tua gets the start . Fitz can only fig them out of so many holes . It’s obvious they are a much better team with him at QB. Tua might. Might be the future but so far he hasn’t shown much at all either he is not ready or a bust . If the dolphins truly want to make playoffs this year Fitz needs to start.

  10. Great finish. The concern for me is what Fitz sees that Tua dose not. When pressed before being pulled Tua almost and should have been picked off. He did the same thing in the opening drive last week and was picked off. Pressure will continue to come and if you don’t over come this problem eventually it will cost you. My other concern is the way he carries the ball when dodging defenders. I sure hope there is a plan B at QB because I’m not convinced yet.

  11. Tua isn’t showing the arm and decision making to be an NFL starter. He’s a game manager at best at this point. Flores should leave Fitz in to give his team the best chance in the playoff chase.

  12. “Flores has the Dolphins on the brink of their first playoff berth since 2008.”

    ===

    The Dolphins made the playoffs in 2016 under Adam Gase. Hard to imagine, I know. But I like the sentiment regarding Flores and where you’re going regarding his astute decision making. He definitely should be coach of the year.

  13. I’m really hoping the Bills play it out. And I hope it’s cold… Very cold next weekend in Buffalo. GO BILLS

  14. None of the Dolphins WRs would have started for those Bama teams Tua had. Let’s look at the bigger picture before we run the kid out of town on a rail.

  15. Tua may have a bright future but at this moment Dophins move up and down the field with Fitz. Their defense is good enough to keep them in games. Becasue Tua isn’t seeing the field the offence looks ugly like the Bears Trubisky offense where first downs feel like touchdowns.

  16. I like the call

    Tua has been effective as a game manager. He doesnt turn the ball over he moves the ball between the 20s he doesnt put the defense in bad spots. If you need a spark Fitz is on the bench but this team wants to rely on the D and if fitztragic is firing interceptions that makes their job difficult

  17. So for all the Fitzpatrick lovers, explain to me how fits not Tua contributed to miles gaskin breaking a tackle. It was a lolly pop check down that any qb could throw. Fitz was in the position to make that throw only because gaskin scored. Also all those people who call Fitzpatrick lights out and Tua garbage. The only difference is throwing receivers open which most quarterback have to learn. Let the kid learn. Fitz is playing the SAME dink and dunk Tua is it’s just you can’t predict when sup bar skill position players make a play.

  18. This is all a learning process for Tua. He will eventually make all those same throws. Is Fitz a better QB ? Yes
    Will Tua BE better with more experience? YES
    Flores knows what he is doing.
    It is hard for a rookie to have basically NO WR talent to throw to. Give him a chance. He is the future

  19. Bad choice, in my opinion. Fitzpatrick gives them so much better of a chance to win. Tua might become a good QB down the road, but right now Fitzpatrick is way better than he is.
    Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite pro athletes. No one wants him yet he never complains and all he does is come in and play hard and play well. His teammates love him and they deserve to have him lead them next week and in the playoffs, if they make them.

  20. Tua is terrible. Can’t or won’t throw the ball 10 yards down the field. This should be a no-brainer. No chance to beat Buffalo with Tua trying to dink and dunk down the field. What is this coach thinking?

  21. Not impressed with either Tua or Lamar. Lamar has been exposed, even if the NFL and Ravens fans won’t admit it. He’s just a running back. He happens to be a great running back and incredibly athletic, but he can’t throw the ball unless it’s to wide open receiver in the middle of the field and maybe 6-8 yards downfield. Serious limitations.
    I believe the issue with Tua is confidence, but he does look slow and indecisive and unwilling to throw the ball downfield. He is not the athlete Lamar is, but he appears to be more accurate. But I don’t see anything thus far that leads me to believe he is a star in the making.
    Herbert and Burrow are the thoroughbreds of that draft class. Allen is the boss from Lamar’s class. Lamar has already been exposed as a poor QB who can rip off some cool runs from time to time. I think Tua has more upside but we’ll see.

  22. Now on to Buffalo. Sure Tua will start but if Flo is who he says he is Tua will have to produce much earlier on and be on a shorter leash. This game at Buffalo will be the TEAM’S only shot. It’s bigger than Tua getting game experience looking to the future. Flo owes that to the rest of the team. My guess is he knows that too.

  23. It’s the perfect set up. Tua doesn’t turn the ball over and is very cautious. Fitz is great in short bursts, but eventually his carelessness catches up with him.

    So start Tua, let him manage the game, and if you’re not getting enough out of the offense, bring Fitz in as your closer.

  24. mikeyb says:
    December 27, 2020 at 10:02 am
    Bad choice, in my opinion. Fitzpatrick gives them so much better of a chance to win. Tua might become a good QB down the road, but right now Fitzpatrick is way better than he is.
    Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite pro athletes. No one wants him yet he never complains and all he does is come in and play hard and play well. His teammates love him and they deserve to have him lead them next week and in the playoffs, if they make them.
    —–

    If all he did was come in and play well, he would have played for half the teams in the NFL. The fact is, the bigger the sample size gets, the more INTs he throws, and the more his team loses.

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