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USA TODAY

JACKSONVILLE — The 12 months is 2024. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard is de facto, actually lengthy. On an ESPN pregame present earlier than a Miami Dolphins sport, a graphic reads: “Is it Tua time but?”

We child. However after listening to nearly each former NFL participant in league historical past tackle the topic on cable tv all through the day, the query was answered fairly clearly, for now, and for a nationwide viewers.

No, it isn’t Tua time but. There’s nonetheless magic in that beard. And that proper arm.

It is so onerous to win on the street on Thursday Evening Soccer. For years, it has been practically not possible for the Dolphins to keep away from humiliation on prime time.

For one night time, no less than, all of it went Miami’s means. On the age of 37, Fitzpatrick led Miami to an upset (how Jacksonville was favored by Three factors continues to be a thriller to me), wherein he was practically excellent.

In fact, the factor about Fitzpatrick that is most adorable is how he is not excellent in any respect. Not his arm. Not his accuracy. Not his mobility. Not his decision-making.

And but Fitz, all of Fitz, is a particular mix. He’s so humble and self-aware about his quick comings. And he is likely one of the hottest teammates a Dolphin has ever had.

He is fashionable as a result of he is sensible and selfless and fearless. 

“I really like this man Ryan Fitzpatrick,” injured Dolphins linebacker Vince Biegel tweeted throughout Miami’s 31-13 win. “Places it on the road each week.”

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I really like this man Ryan Fitzpatrick. Places it on the road each week.

— Vince Biegel (@VinceBiegel) September 25, 2020

Fitzpatrick scrambled with reckless abandon. It is his means. 

On a 3rd down within the first quarter, Fitzpatrick tucked and ran via the center of Jacksonville’s protection and made it. As if there was any doubt. 

On a 3rd down within the second quarter, Fitzpatrick ran for it and tried to run a linebacker over. On fourth down, Fitzpatrick known as a bootleg — and made it, after all.

“Fitz is out of his thoughts,” tight finish Mike Gesicki stated. “To have him as our chief and to see the enjoyable that he has, it is so enjoyable.” 

He reveals youthful gamers the precise technique to play the sport. He would not simply discuss it.

Former NFL star quarterback Troy Aikman, on NFL Community, known as Fitzpatrick “blue collar” which is correct, and on no account insulting. Fitzpatrick performs with braveness, fearlessness and moxie.

As unhealthy as Fitzpatrick was in opposition to New England, he was good in opposition to Jacksonville. 

Fitzpatrick threw a rope to DeVante Parker for an enormous achieve. He discovered Preston Williams for a brief landing go.

Fitzpatrick threw one other rope to Parker, on a comeback, displaying his arm is just not worthy of Drew Brees criticism. And he threw it excessive to Mike Gesicki for a landing, the place solely Gesicki may catch it.

Fitzpatrick has lifted Gesicki up, one thing the tight finish will at all times be thankful for. And Parker, too. And Isaiah Ford. He makes everybody round him higher.

“I really feel just like the luckiest man on the earth with the ability to exit and play soccer with my buddies,” Fitzpatrick stated.

Early within the second half, Fitzpatrick known as his personal quantity, for a quarterback draw and landing. It was a magical night time for Fitzpatrick.

Sure, the beard was higher than the moustache. Gardner Minshew of the Jaguars could also be a model of Fitzpatrick, along with his guile and effervescence, however a much less superior mannequin.

Even Fitzpatrick doesn’t know the way for much longer he’ll play (this definitely may have been his last-ever primetime sport). This has been an emotional 12 months, as Fitzpatrick misplaced his mom shortly earlier than the beginning of the season.

Fitzpatrick performs soccer with unbridled pleasure and fervour. The sector and the sport is his refuge from any and all worries. He additionally performs with swashbuckle and smarts.

Tagovailoa may very well be seen between collection, asking Fitzpatrick questions, and Fitzpatrick, after all, was totally engaged. That is the right state of affairs.

The Dolphins tanked for Tua Tagovailoa, they usually bought him. Maybe the Jaguars ought to comply with via with a extremely logical technique to Tank for Trevor (Lawrence).

Some had urged that inserting Tua into the lineup in opposition to a struggling Seattle protection subsequent week may very well be a perfect launch level. Some had urged there was little to no profit to Tua watching.

However, although the Dolphins have proclaimed Tua and his hip wholesome, there is no such thing as a motive to insert him in a sport earlier than it’s actually vital. Some have seen fellow rookies Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert flash greatness.

And sure, in some unspecified time in the future, Tua shall be anticipated to flash greatness, too.

However all of those moments are benefitting Tua now. He’s basically enrolled in NFLQB101. And on Thursday, Tua bought to see a category chief on the very high of his sport.

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