September 21, 2020
Miami took a lead in the fourth-quarter, but came up short in the home opener Sunday vs. division rival Buffalo. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tight end Mike Gesicki caught the latter of the two scores and picked up 130 receiving yards.
Fitzpatrick told reporters postgame how Gesicki has continued his late-season emergence into the 2020 season.
"I think a lot of it for him has been confidence. It's been going out there and working hard in practice and seeing results in the games," Fitzpatrick said. "I think all you guys saw that the last half of last year with how much better and more confident he was playing. But this year he's taken another step and you know, he came out of that first game and I thought, I needed to get him some more targets. And every week is different, every matchup – is it man, is it zone. He does a good job of finding the spots and working hard in practice to figure those things out. So his confidence continues to rise and I think we'll just continue to see him get better."
The Dolphins' quarterback said the numbers are fun, but winning is truly what matters. Fitzpatrick and Head Coach Brian Flores detailed some of the plays that prevented the Dolphins from closing this close game out.
"We went on some long drives," Fitzpatrick said. "But again, they go and score and we've got a critical drive where we get the ball and have probably our worst drive – definitely our worst drive – of the second half where we needed it most. So there's some stuff that we need to continue to get better at and a lot of it is just those critical moments, making sure that we're doing the best we can."
"We didn't do enough to win the game," Flores said. "We had a chance during the fourth quarter. We made a couple plays, took a lead. If you want to win the game you've got to finish the game off. We had opportunities. We didn't take advantage. Thankfully we've got a quick turnaround and we'll be out there Thursday night to get back to it and try to play better."
Flores also discussed the challenges presented by the Buffalo receiving corps.
"Look, they've got good receivers. We struggled to cover them," Flores said. "They got open. They had time to — they had time to throw it. We didn't get enough pressure on the quarterback. I don't want to put it all on the coverage guys. It's a team game, but it starts with me, and we've got to do a better job of putting them in positions to cover them better. We struggled there for sure."
The Dolphins have an opportunity to turn it around quickly with a Thursday trip up I-95 to Jacksonville. The Jaguars mounted a comeback today at the Titans, but Garner Minshew's 339 passing yards and three touchdowns weren't enough as they fell 33-30 and to a 1-1 mark on the season. The game will be played on NFL Network on Thursday at 8:20 pm EDT and we'll have you covered on MiamiDolphins.com and on the Drive Time podcast with Travis Wingfield.