The Miami Dolphins will kick off their 2022 regular season on Sunday and all eyes are going to be on Tua Tagovailoa, which is where they should be.
Tua Tagovailoa has no excuses left. Forget the new offensive system. At this level, QBs should be able to adapt to change. The offensive line is better, the wide receivers are better, the coaching staff supports him, and he is entering his 3rd NFL season.
Tua Tagovailoa should know what to expect. Will there be mistakes along the way? Of course, but those mistakes have to be relegated to a good defensive play rather than a mental error. He needs to be passed that.
2022 will be a critical year for Tua. If he fails, he likely will find himself replaced but the bigger question is what constitutes failure? Is the floor making the playoffs or is it statisics?
What happens if Tua throws for 30 touchdowns and 5,000 yards but the team finished 9-8? Is that an indictment on Tagovailoa or is it a defensive issue? Conversely what happens if his stat line is 24 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and 4,000 yards but Miami makes the playoffs? Is that in spite of his play?
These are all questions that Miami fans are hoping will be answered in 2022. Ideally, like him, love him, or loathe him, Tua taking the next big step benefits the Dolphins’ long-term future. Tua succeeding is what everyone needs.
The journey to find these answers begins on Sunday against the Patriots. It will be a good barometer of what the Dolphins offense can be and has become. We should see how the system has developed over the last month or two and through the off-season. The Patriots’ defense should be good enough to give Miami a challenge and in doing so, challenge Tua.
For Tagovailoa, it’s time.