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The Blitz: Avoiding Complacency 

September 11, 2020

The NFL's first game of the 2020 season is in the books. The same team (Kansas City) who found the winner's circle to conclude the 2019 season got back to victory road on Thursday night with a win over the visiting Houston Texans. For Miami, get-away day is tomorrow, giving the team one more day in Davie to get better ahead of the season opener.

Here's what's happening today in Davie.

Roster changes and injury updates

Miami listed seven played as limited participants in Thursday's practice. Safety Clayton Fejedelem (pectoral), cornerbacks Xavien Howard (knee) and Byron Jones (Achilles), tight end Mike Gesicki (glute), wide receivers DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Preston Williams (knee) and linebacker Kyle Van Noy (hand) were all limited on the report. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (hip) was listed as a full participant.

New England listed seven players on its Thursday report. Offensive lineman Yodney Cajuste (knee) did not participate. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (hamstring) and tight end Dalton Keene (neck) were added on Thursday, both in a limited capacity. Wide receivers Julian Edelman (knee) and Gunner Olszewski (foot) were also limited and defensive lineman Chase Winovich (shoulder) was a full participant.

They said it

The Dolphins and Patriots will tee it up for the 110th time in the 54th year of the AFC East matchup. When the foes renew the divisional rivalry, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux will be making his seventh appearance against New England.

Continuity is also prevalent in the trenches on the other side for New England. Each of the Patriots projected starters at left guard (Joe Thuney), center (David Andrews) and right guard (Shaq Mason) have been with the Patriots since Godchaux arrived in Miami.

The big Dolphins defensive tackle talked about the familiarity of that matchup and how he works and prepares for an opponent that knows him so well.

"Don't get lulled to sleep," Godchaux said. "I think a lot of people, when they see the same guy each and every time, 'they're like I know this guy. I've been playing against him for three to four years. I just see them on Sunday.' That's where a lot of people go wrong. Don't get complacent. They have some great guys up front. They play together well as a team. I know I've played those guys for going on four years. Everybody has an offseason, everybody either gets better or they get worse. I just kind of take that same approach each and every game."

Around the beat

Ryan Fitzpatrick is entering his 16th season in the NFL (second with Miami). When he takes his first snap Sunday, it'll be his eighth opening-day start (4-3 with 17 touchdowns compared to only six interceptions).

ESPN's Cameron Wolfe detailed the importance of the veteran quarterback to the Dolphins' operation. 

There was no team meeting to announce Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback. It was simply assumed, veteran guard Jesse Davis said, until coach Brian Flores announced the news to the media on Monday.

Fitzpatrick, who is entering his 16th season in the NFL, was the best quarterback throughout the Dolphins' training camp, even if he wasn't the most talked about one after rookie first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa's arrival. So, being named the Dolphins' starter might not have been a surprise, but it still meant "a ton" to Fitzpatrick.

Stat of the Day

Pro Football Focus measures plays against the run with a stat classified as a run stop. The metric tracks the number of tackles a player makes within two yards of the line of scrimmage. Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux led the NFL with 33 run stops while lined up in an interior defensive line position.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

September 11, 1977 – Quarterback Bob Griese, forced to wear eyeglasses because of problems with contact lenses, passes for two TDs in 27-21 preseason victory at New York Giants. Griese becomes the first quarterback to successfully wear eyeglasses in NFL game action. The glasses Griese wears in the 1978 AFC NFL Hall of Fame Game are on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Know the Opponent

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore had a season for the ages in 2019. The Defensive Player of the Year allowed a paltry 49 percent completion rate on passes targeted for his man including a career-high six interceptions and 20 pass breakups. Gilmore scored a pair of defensive touchdowns, racked up 53 tackles and recovered a fumble for the Patriots top-ranked scoring defense.

Content On Tap

John Congemi's weekly 'three keys' column returns today on Additionally, all player media availability will be covered on the Top News story.

It's Friday, which means the return of Fins Flashback. Today, we'll hear from former Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler as he breaks down the 2000 Week 17 AFC East clinching victory in Foxboro.

Finally, Dolphins Today is back as we preview the Miami-New England game and get you caught up on the latest from Davie.

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