Tua Tagovailoa loses first game as NFL starter as Broncos edge Dolphins


DENVER, COLORADO – NOVEMBER 22: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins passes under pressure during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on November 22, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Although he didn’t finish the game, Tua Tagovailoa lost his first game as an NFL starter after the Denver Broncos edged the Miami Dolphins 20-13 on Sunday afternoon.

Tagovailoa, who practiced with a foot injury leading up to the game, was pulled in the fourth quarter in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Tagovailoa completed 11 of his 20 passes for 83 yards, one touchdowns and no interceptions as the Dolphins (6-4) had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Tagovailoa’s first touchdown of the day came on a 3-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker, giving the Dolphins a 7-0 lead with 10:08 in the first quarter.

With 10:44 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Dolphins trailing 20-10, Tagovailoa was pulled in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick promptly led the Dolphins to a field goal, cutting the deficit to 20-13 with 7:51 remaining after Jason Sanders’ 47-yard field goal.

Just when it appeared that the Broncos would put the game out of reach, Denver running back Melvin Gordon fumbled the ball at the Miami 1 yard line with 5:13 remaining. Fitzpatrick took the field again and led the Dolphins all the way to the Denver 15 before throwing an interception to Justin Simmons in the end zone with 1:03 remaining. The Broncos (4-6) were able to run the clock out from there to seal the win.

Fitzpatrick completed 12 of his 18 passes for 117 yards, all in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores said pulling Tagovailoa was performance-based and it wasn’t related to his injury. He also says that Tagovailoa will start the team’s game next week.

Next up for the Dolphins is a game at the New York Jets on Sunday, Nov. 9. Kickoff is set for 8 a.m. HST. The game will be televised on CBS.


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