Dolphins-Jaguars features Beard vs 'Stache, Magic vs Mania

Wed Sep 23 2:45pm ET
By MARK LONG
AP Pro Football Writer

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14)during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


In this Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) walks in the bench area during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn. Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night, Sept. 24, 2020. Miamis Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonvilles Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen, File)


In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick speaks to the media following an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night, Sept. 24, 2020. Miamis Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonvilles Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)


Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) passes as he is pressured by Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) It's the Beard versus the 'Stache in prime time. Fitzmagic on one sideline, Minshew Mania on the other.

Maybe the loser should have to shave.

Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night.

Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks.

''I think the beard is a cooler look,'' Fitzpatrick said Tuesday. ''I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache.''

The 24-year-old Minshew politely fired back at Fitzpatrick, 37.

''I'll let mine speak for itself,'' Minshew said. ''I think I've shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides. But you know, I'm going to have respect for my elders, especially when they're much, much elder. I'll be respectful.''

One of Minshew's teammates, defensive end Josh Allen, might have a tougher time choosing between the two looks.

''We were in a little team meeting and somebody just brought up the beard and I was like, `Bruh does have a really good beard because his chinstrap is so small, and the beard is just everywhere.' It's kind of cool,'' Allen said before quickly adding that he'll ''rock with G-Money.''

Allen is more of a fan of Fitzpatrick's beard than the quarterback's wife.

''She hates when it's long like this,'' Fitzpatrick admitted. ''She hates when it's long because, for some reason, she thinks I'm handsome. But when it's long, I'm not handsome.''

Both QBs looked just fine in close losses last week. Minshew threw three TD passes for the third consecutive game, but he had two somewhat-fluky interceptions in a 33-30 loss at Tennessee.

Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to Buffalo. He put the Dolphins ahead in the fourth quarter before Josh Allen rallied the Bills against Miami's struggling defense.

Fitzpatrick has won his past four starts against Jacksonville - each one with a different team. He beat the Jags with the New York Jets in 2015, with Houston in 2014, with Tennessee in 2013 and with Buffalo in 2012.

He's a part of one of the youngest teams in the NFL this year and will be facing another one filled with first- and second-year players, led by Minshew.

''I haven't seen him play a ton, but the few times I have, I like watching him,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I enjoy his playing style. It looks like he's out there having fun. It's not easy to play quarterback in this league. It's not easy to play as a young quarterback. He's already had a lot of success.

''He's had a great start to the season. He's a guy that I don't think I've played against him, so I'm excited to watch him play and see how he does.''

NOT BUSY

After Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing last year, the team acquired veteran running backs Matt Breida and Jordan Howard to improve the ground game. Through two weeks they've combined for only 70 yards rushing on 25 carries, an average of 2.8 per carry.

Myles Gaskin, a seventh-round pick in 2019, leads Miami with 86 yards rushing.

''There is only one football,'' offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. ''Nobody ever gets it enough. When you have good running backs, everybody cannot touch it as much as they would like.''

SACK SEARCH

The Jaguars don't blitz much, but they might need to start if they can't create more quarterback pressure. They have two sacks in two games - only Carolina and Las Vegas have fewer.

''We all have to take that pride in just getting to the quarterback more, especially I do,'' said Allen, who had 10 1/2 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year. ''So I've just been grinding as much as I can and I've been thinking about all the missed rushes that I could've had. Just learn from that and just move forward.''

NO DEFENSE

The Dolphins' secondary is sure to get tested by Minshew after allowing 413 yards passing last week against the Bills. Josh Allen's receivers were often wide open, and Miami's cornerbacks were repeatedly exposed on crossing routes in man coverage.

After Byron Jones was sidelined in the first quarter by a groin injury, former Pro Bowler Xavien Howard and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene both struggled. The solution?

''My message to the guys is the guys we put you on, those are the guys we expect you to cover,'' Flores said.

Player Notes
Dallas Cowboys Oct 20 12:50am ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense struggled once again in Week 6, allowing 38 points and recording just one sack with no turnovers. They ended up with -3.0 points in standard scoring formats, their third time in six games winding up with negative points. They've totaled seven fantasy points this season. Seven. Even with a seemingly good matchup next week against the struggling Washington Football Team's offense, the Cowboys will not be a recommended fantasy defense.

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Dalton Schultz Oct 20 12:40am ET

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Greg Zuerlein Oct 20 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein made one field goal and missed another in Week 6. He made his one extra point attempt. Zuerlein's made field goal came from 34 yards out and his miss came from 58 yards. With the huge downgrade in the Cowboys offense in going from Dak Prescott (ankle) to Andy Dalton, Zuerlein's time as a top-12 kicker this season may have come to an end.

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Michael Gallup Oct 20 12:30am ET

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Cedrick Wilson Oct 20 12:30am ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cedrick Wilson made just two catches in a Week 6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson was targeted three times, gaining 10 yards on his two catches. Andy Dalton threw the ball 54 times and showed that even though the Dallas defense will make him keep throwing the ball plenty, he likely won't be able to push the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart into fantasy relevance. Wilson won't be a recommended starter in most formats as long as the rest of the Cowboys receivers remain healthy.

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Tony Pollard Oct 20 12:20am ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard ran the ball 10 times in a Week 6 loss, gaining 31 yards. He was targeted four times in the passing game, catching two passes for nine yards. Pollard came into this one with a total of 13 rush attempts, so his 10 runs were a bit of a surprise. Starter Ezekiel Elliott lost two fumbles and cost the Cowboys a competitive first half, likely leading to an increased role for Pollard. Still, Elliott is in no danger of losing his role on offense, leaving Pollard as a huge difference-maker only if Elliott misses time due to injury, illness, or suspension.

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Amari Cooper Oct 20 12:20am ET

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CeeDee Lamb Oct 20 12:20am ET

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Andy Dalton Oct 20 12:10am ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton did not play well in his first start. Dalton took over in Week 5 after Dak Prescott (ankle) was forced to leave the game and looked decent, but looked almost the complete opposite in his Week 6 start. Dalton completed 34 of his 54 pass attempts for 266 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He added four yards on two carries. Dalton missed some throws by high school margins and checked down to running backs 15 times despite having three elite wide receivers running on the field. Some of it was probably rust and Dalton should look better than this at most points this season, but he proved that the drop off from Prescott to Dalton for the rest of the season may be a lot more significant than originally expected. Dalton will be a QB2 for a matchup against the Washington Football Team in Week 7.

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Ezekiel Elliott Oct 20 12:10am ET

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Dak Prescott Oct 19 11:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin (concussion) left the Monday night game against the Cardinals in the first quarter after suffering a concussion. Martin was ruled out to begin the second half with the team trailing 21-3. The Cowboys above-average offensive line has been decimated by injuries this year. Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick retired in the offseason. Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith had season-ending neck surgery last week, while right tackle La'el Collins is on Injured Reserve after having hip surgery. Joe Looney, who replaced Frederick at center, is on Injured Reserve as well. With quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) also out for the year, the offense struggled against Arizona. The injuries to the offensive line have been more bad news for the offense, especially for running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Andy Dalton.

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John Brown Oct 19 9:40pm ET

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Gabriel Davis Oct 19 9:40pm ET

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Cole Beasley Oct 19 9:30pm ET

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Stefon Diggs Oct 19 9:20pm ET

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Devin Singletary Oct 19 9:10pm ET

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Josh Allen Oct 19 9:00pm ET

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Darrel Williams Oct 19 9:00pm ET

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