New England Patriots

Dolphins Confirm Teddy Bridgewater Will Start Vs. Patriots; Get to Know Backup QB

What to know about Teddy Bridgewater, Dolphins' starting QB vs. Pats originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It's official: The New England Patriots won't see Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday.

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed Wednesday that Tagovailoa won't play in Week 17 after suffering a concussion in Week 16, and that backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will start against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

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That's expected news, but still a massive development for a New England team that must beat Miami to keep its playoff hopes alive. Here's a bit of background on Bridgewater and how his insertion into the lineup could benefit the Patriots on Sunday.

Bridgewater's 2022 stats

Games played (team record): Four (1-3)

Passing stats: 37 for 60 (61.7 percent), 522 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT, 85.6 passer rating

Rushing stats: 2 rushes, 21 yards, 6 sacks

Bridgewater has only seen meaningful action in two games, both Dolphins losses: A Week 4 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals and a Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Here are the 30-year-old's stats in those two games:

Week 4 at Cincinnati (27-15 loss): 14 for 23, 193 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 84.4 passer rating

Week 6 vs. Minnesota (24-16 loss): 23 for 34, 329 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 93.9 passer rating

What will Miami's offense look like under Bridgewater?

The Tagovailoa-led Dolphins have thrived on big plays this season, with Tua averaging 5.9 air yards per attempt (first among NFL quarterbacks with at least five games played). But Bridgewater is right behind Tagovailoa at 5.1 yards per attempt and aired it out to speedsters Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on several occasions against the Bengals.

So, while Bridgewater is a step down from Tagovailoa, the Dolphins still may look to be aggressive in the passing game against a Patriots defense that got shredded by Joe Burrow and the Bengals in first half last Sunday.

"I’m happy for him to get the opportunity to fully prepare for a game that the team needs him for," McDaniel told reporters of Bridgewater on Wednesday. "We’re very fortunate to have him and excited for his opportunity."

Bridgewater has made 64 starts over eight NFL seasons and made the Pro Bowl in his second season with the Vikings in 2015. The Patriots may have caught a break with the absence of Tagovailoa -- who is a perfect 4-0 in his career against New England -- and appear to be catching the Dolphins at the right time amid Miami's four-game losing streak.

Bridgewater is one of the league's better backups, though, and the Dolphins have a dangerous array of weapons that Bridgewater is fully capable of utilizing Sunday.

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