JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When the Miami Dolphins visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on "Thursday Night Football," it'll be more than just a battle for Interstate 95 supremacy. It's also a battle of beards versus mustaches.
Perhaps no NFL quarterbacks are better representatives of their respective facial hair than Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew.
From Fitzpatrick's perspective, beards are "a cooler look."
"I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache," Fitzpatrick joked with reporters Tuesday.
Not so fast, Minshew retorted.
"I think I've shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides," the second-year signal caller said. "But, you know, I'm going to have to respect my elders, you know, especially when they're much, much elder. Be respectful."
Minshew's words were a mocking assault on his 37-year-old counterpart's age.
Fitzpatrick has thrown for 519 yards and two touchdowns for the Dolphins (0-2), but the journeyman seventh-round draft pick out of Harvard has also thrown three interceptions. It's no secret that he's just keeping the seat warm before he's eventually supplanted by No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa.
Minshew, meanwhile, has thrown for 512 yards and six touchdowns with just two interceptions for the Jaguars (1-1), who saw enough from last year's sixth-round draft pick that they traded away former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and staked their franchise on the 24-year-old sensation from Washington State.
While Fitzpatrick is trying to hold onto his job in Miami for as long as he can, at least he's got the support of his wife. Or does he?
"My wife appreciates the mustache trimmed up a little bit more," he said. "But she does hate the beard, too, so I guess that's a lose-lose for me."
One thing is certain: No matter which team loses, facial hair will be a big winner Thursday night.