Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had himself an impressive game in Week 9, but it wasn’t enough for him to earn the Rookie of the Week award.
The performance was in stark contrast to his first week under center, with the former Alabama Crimson Tide gunslinger growing more comfortable behind an NFL offensive line and putting on a show for the fans.
After just 93 passing yards and one touchdown in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams, who were defeated 28-17 largely due to the Dolphins’ defense rather than the rookie quarterback’s efforts, it was Tagovailoa that stepped up and led the team to victory the following week.
Against the Cardinals, who were viewed as potential Super Bowl contenders entering the 2020 season, Tagovailoa passed for 248 yards, completing 71.4% of his attempts, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
This was a truly strong performance for the young man, who was entering just his second full game in the NFL, going up against the 2019 Rookie of the Year – who already has 24 NFL games under his belt and almost 6000 passing yards to his name.
With this individual performance, and team victory that now has people giving head coach Brian Flores’ side a lot more respect, Tagovailoa was naturally selected as one of five players to be voted on for the Rookie of the Week award for Week 9.
Tagovailoa went head-to-head against Denver Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy, Jacksonville Jaguars QB Jake Luton and RB James Robinson as well as Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert – a player that will forever be linked with Tagovailoa after they were selected with back-to-back picks in the 2020 Draft.
The Dolphins quarterback finished second for the award, with the Chargers’ Herbert earning 57% of votes – despite the Hawaiian arguably having a better overall week.
Herbert played a strong game, throwing 326 yards and two touchdowns, but he had far more passing attempts (42) and completed a lower percentage of them (66.7%). If Tagovailoa had completed the same number of passes at the rate he threw against Arizona, he would have thrown for 347 yards.
Add to that the fact that the Chargers lost their Week 9 tie against the Las Vegas Raiders, whereas Tagovailoa helped guide the Miami Dolphins to victory, and there could be plenty of reason to have expected the former Nick Saban student to have won this weekly award.
This Sunday will give Tagovailoa an opportunity to overshadow the former Oregon Ducks quarterback, when the Dolphins take on the Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium, putting this Week 9 snub behind him and potentially laying claim to the award in Week 10.