Tua Tagovailoa has reached the halfway point of the 2023 season, here is how he grades out

Tua Tagovailoa has had his name mentioned as a realistic candidate for the NFL MVP award but his three losses have curbed that talk. How does he grade out halfway through the season?
Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

We are now through 9 games and the Miami Dolphins are heading into their bye week. They are sitting at 6 - 3 through 9 games and are 2 - 1 in their division. They currently stand alone atop the AFC East. Let's take a look at how Tua has performed so far.

Tua currently leads the NFL in passing yards with 2,609 through 9 games. He has thrown for 138 yards over the number 2 passer in the NFL Sam Howell. Tua is currently on pace for just under 5,000 yards for the year which would be a career high for him. Dan Marino is the current holder for passing yards in a season for the Dolphins and given Tua's current pace he will come very close to Marino's 5,084 yards.

Tua also leads the NFL in passing touchdowns with 19, one more than Josh Allen. He is on pace for 36 touchdowns this year, which would also be a career-high for him. However, he will not come close to Marino's 48 touchdowns.

Tua's QB rating also leads all QBs for the season that qualify. His 106.4 would be a career-high for him and like many other stats of his, it appears the 2023 season is his breakout season. So far we have covered all of the good now let's look at some of the negative.

Tua has already thrown 7 interceptions this year. He is currently on pace for 13 for the year. That is a solid number if he gets to his 36 touchdowns for the year giving him an almost 3 - 1 touchdown to interception ratio. But that is also a big if. Tua will need to continue to play big-time ball and not the duds that he has over the past couple of weeks.

The big issue is that Tua also has 8 fumbles this year. He has only lost 2 of them, but he is on pace to have 15 fumbles this year and you cannot continue to rely on them being recovered. Between the 13 interceptions he's on pace for and 15 fumbles, that is a number the Dolphins can't have if they plan on winning and Tua can't have those numbers if he wants to win MVP.

The last thing I want to look at for Tua is his sack number. I know that sacks aren't all the QB's fault, however, he plays a big role in it, reading the defense pre-snap and setting his protection. He has been sacked 14 times this year and is on pace for 26. That is a decent number and is consistent with what he did his first 3 years in the league playing fewer games. I would consider this a solid improvement, especially with the instability of the Dolphins line through 9 games.

Tua Tagovailoa's mid-season grade: B+

As much as I would like to I can't give Tua a better grade. He has the yards and a good touchdown to interception ratio, but Tua has too many fumbles mixed in with the interceptions. The fumbles, even though they haven't all been recovered have contributed to lost downs and sacks. I do think that Tua can be better over the second half of the year with a healthy offensive line and running back room.

The bye week has come at a good time for the Dolphins. They need to get healthy and get back into their rhythm. I could see Tua ending up with closer to 40 touchdowns if he plays more consistently and the snap issues between him and Connor Williams are resolved. The Dolphins are currently a playoff team, but they need him to be better if they want to be a true contender.