'FitzMagic' bedazzles Jacksonville Jaguars in NFL

And in the battle of the facial hair -- with Fitzpatrick and his bushy beard on one side and Gardner Minshew II and his mustache on the other -- it was the veteran who stole the prime-time limelight.

The Miami Dolphins quarterback shone in Thursday's 31-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars by completing 12 passes -- easily surpassing his previous record of eight -- and throwing two touchdowns.

Even at the age of 37, his ability with his feet still threatens defenses around the NFL, and on Thursday, he became the second player since at least 1948 and Hall of Famer Walter Payton to have two or more passing touchdowns, one or more rushing touchdowns, 20 or more rushing yards and a reception in a single game.

"It's why I still play. I enjoy playing," Fitzpatrick said after the game. "Especially when you're having success, when you're driving the ball down the field, scoring touchdowns. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world sometimes getting to go outside and play football with my friends."

As extraordinary as his performance was, equally so was the floral shirt he donned, left mostly unbuttoned to expose a rug of chest hair, for the post-game interview he did with NFL Network.

When asked about his hirsute look, Fitzpatrick quipped: "I'll stick with the beard and the chest hair, and the senior citizen look."

Having been drafted by the St. Louis Rams back in 2005, Fitzpatrick has played for a quarter of the teams in the league -- the Dolphins are the eighth.

But no matter the color of the uniform he is wearing, Fitzpatrick has always had the Jaguars' number. He became the first NFL player since at least 1950 to record at least one victory for six different teams against a single opponent.

And he helped his most recent team, who he signed with before the start of last season, to their first win of the season largely in part due to his hot run of form.

The opening 12 completed passes and two touchdowns -- as well as a rushing touchdown from Jordan Howard -- meant the Dolphins led 21-7 at half-time.

A rushing touchdown for Fitzpatrick in the third quarter further extended the lead before a rushing touchdown from rookie James Robinson, his second of the game, cut the deficit for the Jaguars.

While the "beard vs. stache" debate between Fitzpatrick and Minshew raged before the game -- with Pepsi saying ahead of it that the winning "whiskers" will be featured on a limited-edition soft drrink later this season -- on the field, it was no contest. Fitzpatrick fizzed, while Minshew miscalculated.

Missing his No.1 wide receiver D.J. Chark with back/chest injuries, the second-year quarterback completed 30 of 42 passes for 275 yards and had two turnovers in the defeat.

And after the loss, which meant the Jaguars slipped to 1-2 for the season, Minshew errors cost the team.

"As a group we just didn't get it done," he said. "We had too many mistakes. That's plain and simple."
The game was played in front of 16,563 fans at TIAA Bank Field with attendances restricted because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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