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Josh Rosen Throws for 102 Yards in Dolphins' 16-14 Preseason Loss to Buccaneers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2019

TAMPA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 16: Josh Rosen #3 of the Miami Dolphins warms up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before their preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 16, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Matt Gay's 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining turned out to be the difference in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 16-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Friday's Week 2 preseason contest at Raymond James Stadium.      

The final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter featured 21 points and three lead changes.

Josh Rosen played into the fourth quarter of Miami's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 8 and was in for the entire first half Friday. The second-year quarterback finished 10-of-18 for 102 yards and led two drives that ended in field goals. 

Despite a pedestrian stat line, Rosen wasn't playing with his full complement of playmakers. The Dolphins held wide receivers DeVante Parker, Albert WilsonJakeem Grant and running back Kenyan Drake out of this matchup. 

Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post indicated Rosen wasn't receiving much help from his offensive line:

Joe Schad @schadjoe

I’m not going to make Josh Rosen excuses because of the OL. I’m not going to make Josh Rosen excuses because of the OL. I’m not...

The Dolphins, who have the worst O-line in the NFL by Pro Football Focus metrics, gave up five sacks overall. Even with that caveat, Chris Fischer of NBC6 South Florida believes Rosen hasn't done enough to surpass Ryan Fitzpatrick on the depth chart:

Chris Fischer NBC6 @FischerNBC6

He had some nice throws, but don't think Josh Rosen has shown enough in this first half to warrant Brian Flores making the depth chart switch with Ryan Fitzpatrick for QB1. #Dolphins Rosen stats 10/18, 102 yards, 3 sacks and a few underwhelming reads in his 1st start. https://t.co/6ydYXoswRJ

It's important to note Fischer tweeted that before Fitzpatrick got into the game. Fitzmagic was nowhere to be found, as the 36-year-old veteran finished with 20 yards on 3-of-9 passing. 

Matt Infante of ThePhinsider.com highlighted a logical reason why Rosen should be Miami's starting quarterback, regardless of what Fitzpatrick does during the preseason:

Matt Infante @MattyInfante

I've seen enough of both Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick to know that Rosen should start all 16 games (or at least until he gets hurt behind this OL) to get as many snaps as possible for both his development and the organization's evaluation of him.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wrote in January the Dolphins used the words "tank" or "tanking" during one round of head-coaching interviews before hiring Brian Flores. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Miami is eyeing one of the top quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL draft class, which could include both Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

Rosen became the ultimate wild card for the Dolphins when Miami acquired him from the Arizona Cardinals in April. He's only 22 and was the No. 10 pick in 2018, so if his talent comes together, the franchise can use its draft capital to fill other areas next year. 

ESPN's Cameron Wolfe did highlight one standout play from the first half that makes Rosen an intriguing option in 2019 and beyond:

Cameron Wolfe @CameronWolfe

Best play of the half for Josh Rosen right there. Evaded pressure by stepping out of the pocket and finding an open Durham Smythe for a 21-yard catch on a broken play. Gotta be a playmaker to succeed behind this Miami OL in 2019.

Miami's defense forced the game's first turnover when Sam Eguavoen knocked the ball out of Andre Ellington's hands:

NFL @NFL

Fins force fumble 🐬 #MIAvsTB | @MiamiDolphins https://t.co/wozKY8VKOb

Jerome Baker and Charles Harris got in on the fun by sacking Jameis Winston on third down to force a punt in the first quarter:

Miami Dolphins @MiamiDolphins

Jerome Baker + Charles Harris = SACK 📺 » @CBSMiami #MIAvsTB #FinsUp https://t.co/PaT4xqaLsp

For the second straight week, the Bucs only had Winston play the opening series. He went just 2-of-4 for 24 yards on a 10-play drive. There is no doubt he will be under center for head coach Bruce Arians in Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers, so the third preseason game is likely going to be the only extended playing time he gets until then. 

                               

What's Next?

The Dolphins will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium next Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The Buccaneers will close out their preseason home slate against the Cleveland Browns next Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.