On Sunday, Tua Tagovailoa was pulled for his play not an injury.
A week after Tua Tagovailoa told the media that he though the NFL game would be harder, he got a dose of what the NFL game can be on Sunday
The Miami Dolphins had their chance to move into first place in the AFC East but even Tua Tagovailoa couldn’t get it done. Miami fell to 6-4 on the season and blew an opportunity but it’s not the end of the world.
Social media knee jerk reactions ran rampant on Sunday night after Tagovailoa was benched in the final minutes of the game. Fitzpatrick took the Dolphins on a drive that needed 99 yards, he got about 89. The fact that Tua was pulled has a lot of fans miffed, even this morning but let’s be honest with ourselves, Tua wasn’t playing very well.
The Dolphins offense was an absolute mess on Sunday and you can blame the offensive line but it isn’t like Tua was hitting receivers when he did have time or when he was out of the pocket. He needs to play smart when the things around him are not going well. For example, on Sunday he took a two yard sack as he ran out of bounds instead of throwing the ball away. Smart football wins games just as much as talent.
For all the talk about Tua being NFL ready and his three game win streak as a rookie starter, the game is a lot different than at the college level. The teams that lost to Tua, the Rams, Cardinals, and Chargers, may have underestimated what Tua was capable of doing but on Sunday, it was the Dolphins that either the Dolphins who underestimated the Broncos or the Broncos did not underestimate Tua.
To be fair, Tua was not the problem for the Dolphins on Sunday. In fact, he wasn’t part of the top five problems that Miami had but he is the leader and great quarterbacks can shoulder the team and lift them. He didn’t do that on Sunday but again, he is a rookie.
Miami’s five game winning streak could easily be attributed to the Dolphins defense more than the QB. Tua had a great game against the Cardinals but he was less than stellar against the Rams and did enough against San Diego, two other big games for Miami’s defense. On Sunday against the Broncos, the Dolphins defense struggled against a far inferior team.
Tua has a long way to go and this is only one loss in what will be a whole lot more in the future. Miami wasn’t going to win out and maybe this game will remind them that they are still just a good football team hoping to become great. That goes for Tua Tagovailoa as well. He is going to have his growing pains, on Sunday, it was far more pain than growth but he can grow from it.