The Miami Dolphins have now lost two games in a row and typically that wouldn’t be a big deal but the way they lost them is. Mike McDaniel is a big part of the reason why.
Tua Tagovailoa has looked like pure garbage the last two weeks and he can stand at the podium and talk about accountability, missed communication, and all the other standard lines but the reality is, Tua is giving his critics every reason to doubt him again.
For the second week in a row, Tua has been off his game, or has he been? Mike McDaniel’s offense is designed to utilize the middle of the field and the 49ers and Chargers both took that away from Tua forcing him to play the boundaries where he is less comfortable and less accurate.
The problem is that Mike McDaniel has done no favors to the offense. Over the last two weeks, we haven’t seen McDaniel change his strategy. No in-game adjustments, no halftime adjustments, nothing. Against the Chargers the Dolphins should have played a run-heavy offense exploiting the weaker defensive front.
While the Chargers showed an ability to stop the run early, Miami quit pounding it and instead tried to force-feed the ball to Tyreek Hill across the middle where the Chargers ran two safeties and dropped linebackers into the mid-field forcing Tua to make tight catches. Add to that the physical play on the WRs at the line, and Miami was out of rhythm all night.
When did McDaniel make the changes to open his offense and force the Chargers to play differently? He didn’t. And he didn’t against the 49ers the week before.
Miami has not scored more than 17 points in the last two weeks and if we are being honest, they haven’t exactly played well enough to score that. Sunday night included a 50-plus yard fumble return by Hill for a touchdown so in reality, the offense “produced” only 10 points. But if we go deeper, three of those points came on a 55-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in the game.
Whether the problem is Tua Tagovailoa or not, he and McDaniel now go hand-in-hand, and clearly, they both are struggling for answers. Maybe Tua is playing through an injury we are not aware of but his throws have been incredibly bad for a QB who is supposed to be the most accurate in the league.
I do think it is safe to say that we can stop the “MVP” chants and social media blitzing of his Pro Bowl votes. Tua isn’t an MVP and Pro Bowl may be a stretch depending on what he does in the last four games.