I do not know how to politely say that Tua Tagovailoas performance against the Los Angeles Chargers was absolutely abysmal last night.
I was going to write this article as soon as the Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Chargers game was over last night, but when the game was over I sat and stared at a blank screen for almost 15 minutes.
There are no words I can use to properly describe how bad Tua’s performance was last night. I want to be optimistic though.
Maybe, Mike McDaniel has not done a good job of adjusting to defenses. Maybe, Tua is hurt and they are not telling anyone. Maybe, Tua feels pressured to primarily target Tyreek Hill. I do not know what it is, but what I do know is that the only grade I can give Tua after last night is an F.
He started 3/17. There is no excuse for starting 3/17. Were there some tight windows? Sure. Were there a couple drops? Yes, there were not enough drops to explain the 3/17 start though.
All of Tua’s weapons were available, Terron Armstead was back, and the Chargers were playing with backups. There is no excuse for why Tua started as bad as he did.
After the 3/17 start he started to play a little bit better. He picked up some first downs from scrambling and went 7/11 passing the football for 113 yards. The problem is that 60 of those yards came off of one play to Tyreek Hill.
Despite the increase in production, the offense did not feel like it did the first 11 weeks of the season.
These last two games have provided evidence that Tua is a system quarterback. A guy who is capable of winning games when everything is perfect. When he has a healthy offensive line, good receivers, and a solid game plan from his coach he can win games.
When he does not have those things he looks like how he has these last two weeks.
He lacks the talent of guys like Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes to overcome a lackluster game plan or a lack of talent around him.
Both the Chargers and 49ers made adjustments to the system these last two weeks, and we have seen Tua struggle mightily against both teams.
They dropped their linebackers deeper to take away the middle of the field and got physical at the line of scrimmage to disrupt timing.
The answer might be to go underneath more and allow the speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle the opportunity to make big plays after the catch. By underneath I do not mean three yards past the line of scrimmage. Instead of throwing it 15 yards downs the field, try seven yards down the field.
Either way adjustments have to be made. Mike McDaniel has to figure out a way to get this offense clicking again, because Tua is not good enough to do it on his own.