It was a rough week for Tua Tagovailoa in the media. Strangely, following a season opening Miami Dolphins win in which he completed 67% of his passes for 270 yards and a touchdown to take down the New England Patriots, the trolls were out in full force.
Former journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was tabbed as Tua’s veteran mentor for his rookie year in Miami, made some headlines when he said on “Pardon My Take” that Tua is limited athletically, then Sean Payton went a bit further:
“I think at some point we’ll see (another QB starting) in Miami,” he said, before alluding to Tagovailoa’s backup. “And they played well with Tua (in Week 1), but Teddy Bridgewater, who I’ve had before, he’s an outstanding player.”
The game started off a bit rough for the Dolphins. Baltimore returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and dominated for much of the day. Tua didn’t have a great first half himself, leading to a 28-7 halftime deficit that became 35-14 headed into the fourth.
Turns out that Tua knows a little something about overcoming deficits.
The rally started with this
very unathletic spin move and touchdown pass to former Tide teammate Jaylen Waddle that I would embed for you here, but the NFL is trash so a link to the video will have to do. The whole thing is a thing of beauty, including the pocket presence.
That play pulled the Dolphins within 14 at 35-21. Two well thrown deep balls to speed demon Tyreek Hill tied things up.
TUA TO TYREEK. TD. TIE GAME.— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
: #MIAvsBAL on CBS
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/LqzAxQaA7Q pic.twitter.com/a0Vflp1HgX
Then, after Baltimore kicked a field goal to re-take the lead, Tua iced things with his second TD to Waddle.
TUA TO WADDLE. @MIAMIDOLPHINS LEAD.— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
: #MIAvsBAL on CBS
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/LqzAxQaA7Q pic.twitter.com/Em9iy53QIS
Tagovailoa’s final tally on the day: 36/50 for 469 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions, one of which was a recorded drop. He tied Bob Griese and Dan Marino for the most single game TDs in franchise history. Maybe he can keep his job over Bridgewater after all.
If he’s not especially smug with reporters this week, he’s a better man than I.
With the win, Tua moves to 8-1 vs. head coaches with Super Bowl championships.