AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

With veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the way, the Dolphins topped the hapless Jets 20-3 on Sunday. Miami is in the thick of the playoff race and if Fitzpatrick keeps winning while first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa is out with a thumb injury, it could be hard to go back to the rookie. But Dolphins HC Brian Flores, who already surprisingly benched Fitzpatrick once this year, reaffirmed his confidence in Tagovailoa. 

“If he’s healthy, (Tua) is the guy. I don’t know how many different ways we have to continue to say that. You keep asking, I’ll keep answering the same way,” Flores said via USA Today’s Kyle Crabbs. “Again, he’s dealing with something with the hand. We’ll take it day-to-day. He’s a tough kid. He wants to be out there.”

Jets

  • Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Jets G Alex Lewis, who was benched for non-injury reasons Sunday, said there’s “no issue” and he’s “shooting” to play this week. 
  • Asked about a reported verbal confrontation between him and Lewis that led to the benching, HC Adam Gase said that was inaccurate: “We had a conversation. I don’t know if it was a verbal altercation.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Gase tried to elaborate more on the play-calling controversy over who exactly is calling the shots and when between him and OC Dowell Loggains: “For us to say who’s calling what, when, it’s a competitive disadvantage. That’s for us to do without making it public knowledge. The last three weeks it’s been a collaborative effort throughout the game.” (Vacchiano)
  • Gase ruled out the idea of benching QB Sam Darnold as long as he’s healthy enough to play: “Sam is the starter and we need Sam to play as many snaps as possible.” (Connor Hughes)
  • Jets LB Blake Cashman (hamstring) could be out for a couple of weeks. (Cimini)

Patriots

  • Per ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Patriots QB Cam Newton acknowledged 9-18 passing for 84 yards and two interceptions is pretty ugly, but it was enough for the win: “I’ll be the first person to say I didn’t play my best game yesterday. But let’s be totally clear: I don’t play this game for statistic benefits … individual accolades. I play this game to win. I’m not going to apologize for winning.”
  • Asked about potentially bringing former Lions HC Matt Patricia back on staff, Patriots HC Bill Belichick responded: “I’d say right now, we’re really just focused on correcting the mistakes from the Arizona game and moving on to the Chargers.” (Zack Cox)
  • Belichick struck a cautious note when discussing WR Julian Edelman‘s progress back from injured reserve: “I know he’s working extremely hard, and I would certainly never count Julian out of anything. He’s got tremendous will and a great work ethic, and (he’s) very competitive. Football is very important to him.” (Cox)
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