The Miami Dolphins need a big win on Sunday night. If they do, they win the AFC East, they will host a playoff game, and they just might send the Bills out of the postseason.
On both sides of the ball, the Dolphins are banged up. Starters will not be in uniform on Sunday and Miami is relying on backups and in some cases, third-team players and street free agents to start against one of the toughest teams in the league. One player, however, controls it all.
The Miami Dolphins can win this game with backup players. They can win with injuries and without veteran stars. They can't win if Tua Tagovailoa has a bad game. In fact, they can't win if he has an average game. This week, he needs to be perfect.
Like it or not, this Sunday will show us what Tua Tagovailoa is made of. It will show Miami Dolphins fans and more importantly, the team executives, that he deserves a big-money extension. Sunday, he needs to carry the team on his back, on his shoulders, on his arm, and on his legs. Whatever it takes to win, Tua has to do it.
Is that enough Tua Tagovailoa drama for you? Is it over dramatic? No, it really isn't.
Tua will make his first Pro Bowl after the season. It doesn't mean anything in regard to the task at hand. What does is winning, scoring points, and playing at a level that is All-Pro.
Over his last 8 games, Tua has not thrown more than two touchdowns. He has done that three times. Against the Titans, he didn't throw a single TD. Over that same span of games, Tua has thrown five interceptions, in two of those games he threw two. Four of them he didn't throw any.
On Sunday, Miami needs a field general, a commander. They need a guy who is going to give the Bills defense fits from the start. Play action pass will work if the running game is working but if that isn't up to par, Tua has to make plays and force the Bills to play differently.
If Tua can make the Bills change and adapt their defense, the Dolphins will win. If Miami remains stagnant and Tua can't lead the team, there is no chance for Miami to win despite being at home.
Buffalo is favored by 3, at Hard Rock Stadium, against a team with a better record. All of the pressure nationally appears to be on Miami despite the fact the Dolphins have already punched their playoff ticket and the Bills have not.
The Dolphins want to give Tua an extension. It will be expensive and that is o.k. but they also need to see more from him. They need to see Tua lead his team to a huge win and make no mistake, this is the biggest game of his career to date and it is time for him to take that big step forward.