The Miami Dolphins got off to a good start today and Tua Tagovailoa had a lot to do with that but he needs to get better quickly.
Tua didn’t have a bad day by any stretch but he didn’t exactly blow anyone away either. He posted a stat line of 22/33 for 270 yards and a touchdown and a QBR over 100. O.k. that’s not bad against a good Patriots defensive unit. Still, it didn’t feel exactly inspiring. After the game a good friend texted me and asked if I thought he could improve. I honestly don’t know.
We can say some of that blame comes on the shoulders of the offensive line that game up three sacks on the day. We can say that the lack of a running game and constant pressure kept Tua from going deep like many expected. We can say a lot of things but would any of them make you think there isn’t a lot of room for improvement? Can anything be said about today’s game that would make you believe in Tua 100%?
The answer is no.
Tua threw a couple of passes into the dirt, missed a couple of wide-open receivers, and never actually challenged the Patriots. In fact, at times, he looked lost and confused. That is a Bill Belichick staple against young QBs but Tua should be beyond that now.
There were missed opportunities and while that happens in a game, it shouldn’t happen more than once or twice. Today, Tua missed on more than two. Tua seems to be pigeonholing himself into first and second reads only. When he is expecting pressure, he unloads quicker than he needs to and that makes him miss better options like a slanting Tyreek Hill that is open.
Today is one game in a new offensive system and Tua didn’t do anything to hurt the team although he came close a couple of times. What he got away with today, he won’t get away with against the Ravens and he most certainly will not against the Bill a week later.
Buffalo looked explosive on Thursday night but the Dolphins looked “promising”. Maybe Tua can get this wrapped around his head and we will see a big step forward as the weeks count down.
I’m not knocking Tua. He played well and he did it against a good defense but there is something that just wasn’t inspiring. Maybe we just expected to see more.