With Tua Tagovailoa being named the starter in Miami, all attention turns to a Week 10 duel against Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers.
On Tuesday morning, Tua Tagovailoa officially usurped Ryan Fitzpatrick to become the starting Miami Dolphins’ quarterback. The move took a lot of fans by surprise. Frankly, the move seemed to shock some NFL players, including Fitzpatrick himself.
While Fitzpatrick was playing well, it doesn’t make sense to deviate from the long-term plan just because of a few good games. Brian Flores likely knew that Tagovailoa would become the starter after the bye week before the season even started.
The future quarterback of the franchise is ready when they’re ready, and it doesn’t make sense to wait if the coaching staff has the full conviction needed to make the move.
The LA Chargers will begin the AFC East portion of their schedule by squaring off against the Dolphins in Week 10. That brings us a matchup of the fifth and sixth picks. Tua vs. Justin Herbert should get every fan excited, as that matchup likely contains two quarterbacks that will shape the league over the next decade.
A lot of Chargers fans were higher on Tagovailoa than they were on Herbert. There was good reason to be on the Tua train at the time, but no Chargers fan would swap Herbert now that they’ve seen him over these last four weeks.
Given Miami’s draft position and draft capital, there was no way for the Chargers to get the former Alabama quarterback. But much like any other famous quarterback draft class, their draft positions will be talked about for their whole careers.
While it may not seem this way with the current status of both teams, this game could also have some playoff implications. If the LA Chargers can reel off a winning streak to get back to .500, a win/loss to Miami could determine who gets the sixth or seventh seed into the inaugural 14 team NFL playoffs.
While Herbert has never talked publicly about Miami or any teams passing on him, it has to be a motivation of his in this game. The opportunity to show up Tagovailoa and the management brass that let him fall to the Chargers sounds like the perfect chip on his shoulder.
Another factor to watch is the Chargers’ energy level in this game. The matchup between Herbert and Tagovailoa might be enough juice to fuel this game. Los Angeles has come out flat in their previous meetings against Miami. Hopefully, there’s a bit of an added motivation or energy to get the win here.