With the Miami Dolphins’ season teetering on the brink of becoming inconsequential in the grand scheme of pursuing a Lombardi Trophy in 2020, we may be on the brink of seeing Miami attempt to transition their offensive mentality to prepare for not just winning the next game but rather winning in the future. And that objective isn’t achieved with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. Make no mistake — we should certainly expect Fitzpatrick to start in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be a quick turnaround for the Dolphins and while Fitzpatrick didn’t play great against the Buffalo Bills, he certainly wasn’t the problem in Week 2.
And that’s the bigger issue for where the Dolphins are as a team right now. Yes, getting rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa allows the Dolphins to brace for the future. But unless Tagovailoa learned to rush the passer or play coverage this offseason, he’s not going to really do anything to fix the Dolphins’ biggest issues right now.
Because Miami has so many other issues at play, the team is in an odd place. Continuing to lose games with the status quo would likely accelerate Miami’s acceptance to pass the mantle at quarterback. But it also does nothing to address how Miami has been taken apart by both of their AFC East rivals in consecutive weeks. It isn’t even just the fact that the defense hasn’t been good — it is how it has materialized. The Patriots committed to running the football and tore Miami to shreds. The Bills? They looked to pass the ball vertically and averaged nearly 10 yards a play throughout the entirety of the game, to the tune of 417 passing yards in Week 2.
The easy call for Miami fans is to suggest now that the team’s season is in a hole, they must change quarterbacks to try to spark the team. And maybe the Dolphins will — especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick struggles in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Changing to Tagovailoa at quarterback will definitely inspire more hope for the future. But it won’t help this defense get any better in their assignments — and until Miami fixes that, they won’t be winning many games regardless.
There’s still plenty of season left. Statistically speaking, the Dolphins are a postseason long shot at 0-2. If the Dolphins are going to make some noise, it won’t be because of Tagovailoa jumping into the mix — it will be because Miami’s new-look defense finally finds some semblance of resistance on the field.