Dolphins bench Tua Tagovailoa in fourth quarter against Raiders
Tua Tagovailoa started slowly but led the Miami Dolphins to a big win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16. (Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
If the Miami Dolphins make the playoffs, who will be the quarterback?
Head coach Brian Flores pulled Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in a close game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night and returned to Ryan Fitzpatrick at 9:47 in the fourth quarter, Miami 16-13 behind.
Tagovailoa completed 17 of 22 passes and threw a game-winning TD pass early in the third quarter. But he threw only 94 yards and took his last three possessions with sacks that all ended in punts.
Fitzpatrick walked in and made five of his first six passes for 73 yards, including a 31-yard pass - the longest game of the game for Miami to date - to Mike Gesicki to the 4-yard line from Las Vegas.
Mack Hollins couldn't pull a good pass from Fitzpatrick at the goal line in second and goal, and Fitzpatrick airmailed his third attempt. The dolphins had to be content with a game-deciding field goal.
Flores has flipped its quarterbacks several times since the midseason.
Fitzpatrick opened the season as the starter of the Dolphins and started the first six games. At this point, Flores tagged Tagovailoa for the first time as a starter.
But Flores ripped Tagovailoa for Fitzpatrick in a 20-13 loss to the Denver Broncos and started Fitzpatrick the following week against the New York Jets in week 11.
Tagovailoa had started four games in a row, including Saturday night. But his future status feels pretty bleak now.
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