Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins offense and beat the New England Patriots in Week 17 of the 2019 season, but will he still be the starting quarterback when Miami makes its next trip to Gillette Stadium?
The Patriots and Dolphins will open their 2020 schedule with a Week 1 matchup in Foxboro.
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Fitzpatrick did well to lead the Dolphins to a 5-4 record over their final nine games of last season following the team's abysmal 0-7 start. There's no guarantee he'll be the starter next season, though, because the Dolphins selected Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Tagovailoa, if healthy, has a chance to be Miami's first franchise quarterback since Dan Marino, who retired in 2000. The debate isn't whether Tagovailoa is the quarterback of the future in Miami, it's when should he get his chance to shine.
It's possible that opportunity could come right off the bat against the Patriots in the 2020 season opener. Here's what Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman wrote in his 10-Point Stance column Wednesday:
The more compelling question isn't whether Tagovailoa starts at some point this year; it's whether he will start at the beginning of it. And according to every coach I've spoken to, it's a forgone conclusion that he will beat out veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and start Week 1 against the Patriots on Sept. 13.
Tagovailoa has incredible talent and would pose some challenges for the Patriots defense with his dual-threat skill set, but in terms of leaving Gillette Stadium with a win, history is not on his side.
Bill Belichick is 20-5 overall and 13-0 at home versus rookie quarterbacks in his career as Patriots head coach. The most recent rookie QB to lose to the Patriots was Daniel Jones of the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium in Week 6 of last season.
The Dolphins, however, will be confident in Week 1 against the Patriots regardless of who starts at quarterback. They upset the Patriots in Foxboro in their last meeting, and Miami then spent the summer upgrading its roster in a major way through free agency and the draft.
Tagovailoa should get a chance to shine in 2020, and there would be no better way for him to kick off his NFL career than beating the Patriots in their own backyard.