Tua Tagovailoa had a solid-looking statline but that’s not the story here.
Tua Tagovailoa was mid. He was average. His grade is a C. I wish that I can say otherwise, but I can’t say that honestly.
He had 270 yards, a TD, and no INTs. Looks great in the box score.
But we have eyeballs. We watched the game and we saw a guy in the 2nd half try and mess up this excellent defensive performance. If the given play goes awry at all and there is any pressure coming for Tua, well then you can rest assured that Tua is going to do the opposite of what a smart quarterback should do.
I won’t talk about the first play of the game where it appeared Tua missed a wide-open Tyreek Hill. The ball was tipped. It was clearly tipped.
The play where he was flushed to his right and he threw across his body to Waddle and it should have been picked but it wasn’t. Yeah, that was God-awful. I don’t understand why he does that.
Or, the multiple sacks and near-sacks he took because he just keep back peddling. I don’t understand, did he get slower or something?
Then at the end of the game, he was rolling to his left. He could have easily run for a 1st down and instead, he tries to hit Scherfield who was open. It’s a tough throw across his body but it’s a throw everyone can make. He one-hopped him.
That’s my problem with Tua. All I want is for him to make normal plays. He often can’t. I want Tua to make plays that I’ve seen a guy like Case Keenum make. Tua makes Case Keenum look like Philip Rivers or Carson Palmer.
Any talk by any of the beat writers that said Tua’s arm has a bit more zip on it than last year are big-time frauds. His arm looks exactly the same. We all know it’s weak but oh my word is it sadly weak. It takes hours for the ball to get there when he’s throwing outside the numbers. Kudos to him for getting it there and getting completions. But we all know that can’t hold up.
The absolutely worst part comes from the boots on the ground who were at the game. According to folks I very much trust, there were many times where Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were open deepish and Tua decided to check it down. That can’t consistently happen. That can’t happen against the good teams. It works against bad teams with bad offenses but there is zero chance this approach works against the Bills, Chiefs, or Chargers.
So for now, I’m taking an optimistic realistic approach. I feel like I’m always that way but I can see times when I didn’t want to admit certain things to myself until I had to. I hope Tua eventually trusts his arm and lets it fly more. But, I have a feeling he won’t do that often.
This will lead to his demise as the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. This team is too good to be held hamstrung by QB1. But, I’m going into Baltimore with the hope that Tua gets coached up and Tyreek Hill shows him that he can make those throws. That’s what I’m telling myself until I can’t anymore.