Meaningless football on Sunday for the Miami Dolphins? Not if you are Tua Tagovailoa who may be playing for his very future with Miami.
The Dolphins will host the Patriots in the final week of the NFL regular season and for most, there isn’t much on the line. A win by the Patriots might allow them to move up one spot in the playoff seeding. They could, still win the AFC East but that would mean the Bills lose to the Jets.
New England is in the 5th seed as of today and a loss would likely drop them a spot or two but the Patriots have already punched their ticket to the post season. The Dolphins? They don’t have tickets and can’t get one.
Miami is playing for pride but it might just be Tua who is playing for his future. The last two weeks haven’t been good for Tua. He struggled against the Saints and he looked lost against the season ending loss to the Titans. If we are being honest, he didn’t look all that good against the Jets either.
This week, he needs to leave an impression on his coaches. An impression that he is the right guy for this team. That he needs protection and a running game. That he in fact, needs time.
Miami could have had Justin Herbert and it may end up being one of those mistakes that a team makes inevitably costing coaches and executives their jobs. It could be one of those mistakes that pushes the owner over the edge to sell. Or, it could just be a subpar first couple of years in the NFL.
This weekend, Tua has to play like he is the best QB on the field. He has to show the coaching staff that he is head and shoulders above Mac Jones and the rest of the quarterbacks out there. He has to show that he can be a leader and that he can be what this team needs for the future. You don’t do that in one singular game but for Tua, he may not get another shot.
Tua doesn’t have to throw for 500 yards and 4 touchdowns but it surely wouldn’t hurt. He needs to be smart with the football. He needs to not throw would-be interceptions and he needs to hit open receivers. He needs to show that he belongs in Miami.
If Tua comes out and has a bad game, it doesn’t mean he is out but it could be more reasons for Chris Grier and Brian Flores to explore free agent and trade options at the position. A bad performance on Sunday will only serve to keep the negativity flowing into the offseason.