Dolphins History Lesson: First Start for QBs

Miami Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa will become the team's 22nd starting quarterback since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season
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Tua Tagovailoa will become the 22nd quarterback to start for the Miami Dolphins since Dan Marino retired when the team plays its next game Nov. 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Tagovailoa is different from most because of his status as a college superstar and as a high first-round pick. In fact, there's nobody who compares to him in terms of the excitement his insertion into the lineup will bring.

But as a point of reference, let's look back at the previous 21 post-Marino quarterbacks strictly from the perspective of their first start with the Dolphins.

Jay Fiedler, 2000

Fiedler didn't have to do much in his first game with the Dolphins because the defense was dominant in a 23-0 victory against Seattle. Fiedler completed 15 of 24 passes for 134 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Damon Huard, 2000

Huard actually had started five games in 1999, so his one start in 2000 in a 17-14 victory against Indianapolis wasn't his first with the Dolphins.

Ray Lucas, 2002

Three years after he went 6-3 as a backup for the Jets, Lucas had a really rough starting debut for the Dolphins. He went 13-for-33 for 165 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions in a 24-10 loss against Buffalo.

Brian Griese, 2003

The son of Dolphins Hall of Famer Bob Griese joined the Dolphins after four seasons as the Denver Broncos starter and he started his first game in Miami in a Monday night October game that had to be switched from San Diego to Tempe, Arizona, because of wildfires in Southern California. Griese was very efficient, completing 20 of 29 passes for 192 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 26-10 victory.

A.J. Feeley, 2004

After being acquired in the offseason for a second-round pick, Feeley was beaten out for the starting job in training camp by incumbent Jay Fiedler, but replaced him at halftime of the opener. Feeley then started in Week 2, but struggled. He completed 21 of 39 passes for 218 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 16-13 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Sage Rosenfels, 2004

In his third NFL season, Rosenfels got his first start in the 2004 season finale against the Baltimore Ravens and went 16-for-38 for 264 with one touchdown and three interceptions in a 30-23 loss.

Gus Frerotte, 2005

Like Fiedler five years earlier, Frerotte had a successful Dolphins debut as he completed 24 of 36 passes for 275 yards with two touchdowns and one pick in a 34-10 victory against Denver in Nick Saban's debut as head coach.

Daunte Culpepper, 2006

Culpepper's nightmarish stint with the Dolphins began with the Thursday season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers that ended in a 28-17 loss. It was a tough night for Culpepper, who was 18-for-37 for 262 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Joey Harrington, 2006

The third overall pick in the 2002 draft, Harrington took over in Week 5 after Culpepper landed on IR, though his first start against New England was forgettable. Harrington was 26-of-41 for 232 yards with no touchdowns and two picks.

Cleo Lemon, 2006

Acquired in a trade for Feeley in the middle of the season, Lemon got the start in the season finale at Indianapolis and went 18-for-36 for 210 yards with one touchdown and one pick in a 27-22 loss.

Trent Green, 2007

Green's tenure with the Dolphins came to a painful end when he sustained a season-ending concussion in Week 5, but his performance in his first start actually was solid. Green completed 24 of 38 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, though the Dolphins suffered a 16-13 overtime loss at Washington.

John Beck, 2007

Beck's career as a second-round pick never took off and it began when he was given his first NFL start in Week 11 at Philadelphia. He completed only 9 of 22 passes for 109 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a 17-7 loss.

Chad Pennington, 2008

Pennington had a memorable first season with the Dolphins after arriving in early August and it began with a solid performance at home against the Jets when he completed 26 of 43 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns. But his last pass was intercepted in the end zone by Darrelle Revis as the Jets left Miami with a 20-14 victory.

Chad Henne, 2009

After Pennington went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 3 in 2009, the Dolphins made life very easy for Henne the next week against Buffalo. In his first career start, Henne threw for only 115 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-22 passing but the Dolphins still won 38-10.

Tyler Thigpen, 2010

Thigpen joined the Dolphins as a backup in 2009 after starting 11 games for the Chiefs the previous year. He got his first and only start for the Dolphins in 2010 in Week 10 in a Thursday night game against the Bears and it was a night to forget for him. He was 17-for-29 for 187 yards and one interception and the Dolphins were shut out at home 16-0.

Matt Moore, 2011

Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Moore became the starter after Henne sustained a season-ending injury at San Diego in Week 4. Moore's first start came in a Monday night game against the Jets after a bye, but it didn't go well as he went 16-for-34 for 204 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 24-6 loss.

Ryan Tannehill, 2012

After arriving as the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Tannehill won the starting job in camp but faced a tough assignment in the opener with a game at Houston. It was not a great debut. Tannehill was 20-for-36 for 219 yards and no touchdown, and threw three interceptions on consecutive series in the second quarter as the Texans turned a 3-3 game into a 24-3 lead on their way to a 30-10 victory.

Jay Cutler, 2017

After being lured out of retirement and the TV booth, Cutler made his Dolphins debut at tiny StubHub Center in Los Angeles against the Chargers after the originally scheduled opener was postponed because of Hurricane Irma. Cutler actually had a good first start for the Dolphins as he completed 24 of 33 passes for 230 yards with a touchdown and no picks in a 19-17 victory.

Brock Osweiler, 2018

After Tannehill sustained an upper-body injury in Week 5, Osweiler started the next five games and went 2-3. But his first start was a successful one as he completed 28 of 44 passes for 380 yards with three touchdowns and two picks in a 31-28 overtime victory against the Bears.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, 2019

After beating out newcomer Josh Rosen for the starting job in camp, Fitzpatrick had the unenviable task of leading an undermanned Dolphins team in their opener against Baltimore. It was not a pretty afternoon for anybody on the Dolphins and that includes Fitzpatrick, who went 14-for-29 for 185 yards with one touchdown and one interception in what ended up as a 59-10 loss.

Josh Rosen, 2019

Rosen got his chance to start in Week 3 after lopsided losses against Baltimore and New England and things started off well enough as Rosen had a 40-yard completion to DeVante Parker on the third offensive play of the game. But that was pretty much it in terms of highlights. Rosen ended up completing less than 50 percent of his passes (18-of-39) for 200 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions and he was sacked three times in a 31-6 loss.