Tua Tagovailoa could have done more to beat the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, but Mike McDaniel did not trust him enough at the end to allow him to.
Tua did a great job of commanding the offense. There were several drops in the first half that hurt his overall numbers. Two of those drops came in the end zone. It is hard to not think “What if Tyreek Hill or Trent Sherfield had caught one of those touchdowns.”
Overall I would give Tua a B grade on his performance.
The improvement from the last two weeks compared to this week was leaps and bounds better. The Dolphins’ ability to run the football consistently made it easier on Tua. That run game allowed Tua to hit a couple shots over the top.
The touchdown passes to Jaylen Waddle and Hill are two examples of that.
Sidenote: Waddle played extremely well.
This felt like a normal Tua game. He was accurate in the short to intermediate throws and he hit a couple of big throws outside the numbers down the field.
I do not think Tua can play much better than he did. He led the offense and put up 29 points. In most games if you score 29 points you win, but this was against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
When you play against elite quarterbacks and elite offenses you have to put them away when you can. Tua and the Dolphins’ offense did not do that.
They were up 26-21 at the end of the third quarter and they went three and out.
The defense then proceeds to force a huge turnover. The Dolphins get the ball at midfield, then they proceed to not even get into the red zone. They settle for a field goal to go up 29-21.
The Bills respond with a touchdown and a two-point conversion. It is now 29-29, in the snow, Tua has a chance to march the ball down the field and put the Dolphins ahead.
Five plays later they punt the ball and the Bills go on to win.
To be fair to Tua, the play calling at the end of the drive was not great. Tua opens the drive up with a 21 yard throw, then the Dolphins do not throw it further than five yards down the field.
It is hard to do more when the play calling does not allow you to do so. Here is the thing though… we know Mike McDaniel is not afraid to take chances. He says that he trusts Tua.
Why did he not trust him in the biggest spot of the season?
Actions speak louder than words. McDaniel can say that he trusts Tua all he wants to and maybe he does, but it did not look like that on the final drive.
That is the area of concern for me after watching this game. McDaniel told us that he did not trust Tua in the biggest spot of the game. If he fully trusted Tua they would not have thrown a screen and a quick slant when they had to pickup over nine yards on both plays.
Once again, I thought Tua played well. He did everything that was asked of him. I am just curious as to why McDaniel did not trust him when the game was on the line.