Monday, January 22, 2024

Tua Announces Himself To The World In The Cardinals Win

The Miami Dolphins cannot stop winning and Tua announced himself to the world. 4 straight wins has the Fins as the current seventh seed in the playoff picture with a 5-3 record. The 34-31 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday has us fans excited over a potential playoff appearance, especially with the performance of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Miami Dolphins haven’t made the playoffs since the 2016 season. They haven’t won a game in the postseason since the wildcard round victory over the Indianapolis Colts on December 30th 2000.

Last week, defense won the game against the Los Angeles Rams. This week against the Cardinals, the offense won the game for the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa showed the world exactly why head coach Brian Flores announced him as the starter over the much loved Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Tua’s Day To Remember

Tua Tagovailoa only threw for 93 passing yards and one touchdown in the 28-17 win over the Rams. This caused alot of media personalities to question whether Tua should have been brought in so early. There was even reports that Tua was being auditioned, which Flores flat out refused.

Sunday’s win certainly proved that this is not the case. The Alabama college quarterback threw for 248 passing yards against Arizona with 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 71.4% completion percentage (22 from 28).

Tua had a shaky moment early on, which showed his rookie experience.

A throw by Tagovailoa was initially given as an interception before being overturned.

His accuracy, which was a big part of his college tape, was there to see with the aforementioned 71.4% completion rate. He also made two big runs that elevated the offense.

There were some exciting and moments when Tua threw the ball. There was an excellent pass to receiver Preston Williams early on in the second quarter, who had a good connection with the quarterback all game before his injury.

There was also some crucial passes made by the quarterback in important situations. With Miami on 3rd down and 9 and behind 31-24 late on in the third quarter, Tua found receiver Devante Parker with a 14 yard pass that gave Miami a first down.

This pass was made less than ten yards from their own end zone. The drive would end up with a touchdown to wideout Mack Hollins to tie the game at 31-31.

On the way to getting the touchdown on the drive, Tua showed his scrambling ability. Once again on third down, this time four yards away from the first down marker, Tua escaped pressure and juked safety Budda Baker to make first down.

He repeated his antics on 2nd and 4 early on in the fourth quarter, performing a houdini act in escaping the pocket and getting the first down with a 17 yard gain. Less than a minute later, Tua made that pass to Mack Hollins.

Mixed Day For The Miami Dolphins’ Defense

The defense, as previously mentioned, won the game against the Rams. However, this week they were not quite at the same level.

They allowed many big plays and once again, couldn’t stop the run. Arizona’s Kyler Murray is a much different type of quarterback to the Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff. Murray is a quarterback who can run as well as pass.

Miami’s defense allowed Kyler Murray to throw for 283 yards and throw for three touchdowns. They also allowed the 2019 first overall pick to run for one rushing touchdown along with 106 rushing yards.

The defense did have some crucial moments in this game. With the game scoreless in the first quarter, defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah sacked Murray and linebacker Shaq Lawson took the ball to the end zone for a defensive touchdown.

This was in fact the first time since 2017 that the Miami Dolphins have scored defensive touchdowns in back to back games.

This defensive touchdown helped the defense mark their territory early on. Unfortunately this didn’t last as the Miami Dolphins allowed 31 points in this win. A fourth quarter missed kick by Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez after the two minute warning ended any chances of Arizona getting back into the game.

This denied the Cardinals the chance against a Miami Dolphins secondary that struggled against the big plays.

However, in what was one of the most crucial plays of the game, the Miami Dolphins defense made a huge fourth quarter stoppage. With just over five minutes left of the game, Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds was stopped and this caused the turnover on downs.

The secondary may have had an off day, but the defense still managed to make the crucial plays when it matters.

The Miami Dolphins appear to have now found their quarterback of the future. With four straight wins and what appears an easier schedule down the stretch, good times are on their way in Miami. Hopefully next week the offense and defense can both be at their best.

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