Tua Tagovailoa looked exactly like Tua Tagovailoa, which sort of just has me feeling just okay
Tua played fine. He protected the ball, used his legs to extend plays, and made a couple of good throws. My expectations for him weren’t Patrick Mahomes numbers from his game from earlier in the day especially with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle not playing.
But I guess I was hoping that he would dictate more to the defense instead of always taking what the defense gives him. It’s the preseason. There’s room to be a little more aggressive. I’m not talking about just throwing the ball up with reckless abandon. But maybe not always looking for the dump-off in every situation even if you know it’s there would be a positive step forward in his progression.
Tua went 6/8 for 58 yards, which is very much a Tua Tagovailoa statline. He was efficient and didn’t do anything to put the team in a bad spot.
My two favorite plays were these. The first one(click here) was when Tua faked a handoff to his right and was positioned to look right. He scanned down the seam and it wasn’t there. Then, he flipped his left opposite and hit Trent Sherfield for a 14-yard play. We didn’t see much of that last year because the offensive line couldn’t block that long.
The second one was a 3rd down(click here) and Tua was able to keep his eyes downfield, navigate the pocket to his left and complete a short pass to Chase Edmonds who did the rest. It wasn’t a play that will be in the top 10 plays of the night on Sports Center, but it was a solid play that highlights what the offense wants to do and that’s to get the ball to all the really fast players that are on the team and let them do their thing.
Overall, I don’t feel bad about Tua and the offense’s performance but I don’t feel wildly confident either. The Raiders had mostly backups out there and Tua and the offense got three points in their two possessions. It kind of has that “same old Dolphins” feeling to it and that’s a very numb feeling.
I’m hoping and praying that Jaylen Waddle’s injury isn’t anything serious because they desperately need him.
I’m also just going to keep telling myself that it’s the preseason, guys were out, and Mike McDaniel isn’t going to go too deep into the playbook because that’s not how you handle the preseason.
Still, though, I wish I felt better and more optimistic. Maybe some good reports from practice will make me feel like things are improving.