Mention the name Tua Tagovailoa and you are bound to get obliterated on social media by far more than just Miami Dolphins fans. Pick a side if you dare.
There is no question that when it comes to Tua Tagovailoa, the mere mention of his name can trigger his fans. That makes it sound like if you are not blindly supporting him, then you are not a fan and in that mindset, part of the overall problem.
Why are Miami Dolphins fans expecting more from the Miami Dolphins offense? Because they have been conditioned to.
As much as the national media negativity influenced many of the fans to either rally around Tua or agree with the narrative, putting up points at will has conditioned fans to expect similar results. While this is the NFL, the truth is when your QB who leads this offense can't put up more than 20 points on the Raiders and turns the ball over three times...it is underwhelming and disappointing no matter the stat line.
This is where the problem sometimes falls. Some fans simply look at the stats and think Tua had a great game because he completed 65% of his passes. That he threw for a TD and led two other TD drives. They shrug off the two interceptions or the fumbles because the team won.
There are fans who are far too over the top and unnecessarily critical of everything Tua does. These are the fans who are not critical of the offense being sluggish and out of sync but instead downright insistent that Miami would be better off without Tua. Those are the fans who spend their hours arguing and throwing barbs at the Tuanons who believe Tua does absolutely nothing wrong.
For the rest of the fans that live within the fencelines of those two sides, it is a torturous environment. Say he had a bad game and you are attacked by one side and say he didn't and you are attacked by the others.
It is funny though that Tua himself holds his play to similar standards. After the Raiders game, he apologized to his teammates for not playing at the level he expects from himself. Against the Jets, he said he could do better and expects to do better. But fans can't say that. They can't point out that a 360-yard effort can be sluggish. Again...conditioning.
Tua is the right QB for the Miami Dolphins and after watching Justin Herbert fall short of weekly expectations, you have to believe that Miami made the right decision both for their team and for the quarterback.
I can't speak for the Tua-haters because there is no reason to dislike him. Could he be better? Absolutely. So could Patrick Mahomes. Tua could do a lot better with his secondary reads and he could make smart decisions with the football but all QBs could be better.
The fact is, most Miami Dolphins fans are buying into the "Greatest Show on Surf" narrative, and that too is contributing to the expectations that if the Dolphins' offense is so good why are they not beating a team like the Raiders by more than 7 points? Why are they not beating winning teams?
There isn't a complete answer to that because winning in the NFL is not easy. Most fans are not critical of Tua specifically. They are critical of the rhythm of the offense. They are critical of the misreads and mistakes that shouldn't be happening in the 2nd half of a season.
Frankly, Miami Dolphins fans are tired of losing and they are tired of listening to the national media slander a QB who has done nothing wrong but they also know that sometimes, a QB doesn't play at his best and sometimes the offense can put up 30 points and 300 yards and still look like they were not in sync, because sometimes, they are not.
Tua is the perfect fit for the Miami Dolphins. Perfect QB this year, next year, and hopefully the next ten but he makes mistakes and he has bad games. He also has incredible games more often than not and that has raised the bar of expectations but it doesn't change the level of support.