The Miami Dolphins, with their rising star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, are emerging as one of the NFL’s most exhilarating teams to watch. Their journey through the 2022 season, characterized by a triumphant start but marred by injury concerns, set the stage for what has become an enthralling 2023 campaign. With renewed vigor, they have begun the new season on a high, showcasing an offensive prowess that few teams can match. After missing the end of the 2022 season with what some said could be a career ending head injury, the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa entered the 2023 with a lot of questions to be answered. Would Tua ever be the same and how would he come back in 2023.
In this article, we dive into the Dolphins’ performance, spotlighting Tagovailoa’s resilience and brilliance, while also capturing key moments like their recent record-breaking victory over the Broncos. As anticipation builds for their next game against the Bills, join us in revisiting the highs, lows, and the sheer football magic the Dolphins have produced so far.
The Miami Dolphins started last season 3-0 after a 21-19 home win against the Buffalo Bills on September 25, 2022. The Dolphins finished the season 9-8 and eventually lost in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, 34-31 on the road against the same Bills on January 15.
Tua Tagovailoa’s 2022-23 season was marked by multiple concussions, despite his impressive performance. With support from the Dolphins, including an offensive head coach in Mike McDaniel, and a top deep threat in Tyreek Hill, Tagovailoa showcased his skills.
Tagovailoa’s average target depth improved significantly from 7 yards (29th in the league) in 2021 to 10 yards (2nd in the league) last year, which enabled him to achieve 8.9 yards per attempt, the highest in the NFL, along with a 3.12 Touchdown to Interception Ratio ratio (5th in the league).
Consequently, Tagovailoa led the league with a passer rating of 105.5. Though attempting longer throws impacted his accuracy, he still managed to rank 10th in the NFL on-target percentage (74). Injuries, particularly concussions, made him miss five games last year, including two early in the season, two at the end, and the Dolphins’ Wild Card loss against the Bills.
The Dolphins are off to another 3-0 start with Tua Tagovailoa under center and they have become one of the most dynamic offenses in the league.
Tagovailoa has shined, throwing for 1,024 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions in three games this season. He’s connected with Tyreek Hill for a team-high 25 receptions, 412 yards and four touchdowns.
Veteran running back Raheem Mostert has been another bright spot for the Dolphins with 240 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 41 carries.
Tagovailoa entered this season in good health, supported by the exceptional wide receiver duo of Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who combined for 3,066 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns last year.
While last season’s concussions don’t necessarily indicate a higher risk for Tagovailoa this year, after facing criticism, the Dolphins are expected to exercise more caution in the event of an injury. Some people thought Tagovailoa should have retired, but he left no stone unturned to come back stronger physically and mentally.
In April, Tagovailoa told reporters that he enrolled in Jiu-Jitsu classes to learn how to fall properly and minimize head injuries when he goes to the ground. The 25-year-old quarterback acknowledged that falling safely is complex.
“You think it’s easy, just fall down and don’t hit your head. But it’s a lot more to it than that,” Tagovailoa explained.
The Dolphins could start the season 6-0 or 5-1 after playing teams like the Giants and Panthers in the upcoming weeks. Taking advantage of winnable games is a must if the Dolphins want to fight for the AFC East title and improve their playoff position.
The Miami Dolphins finish the season with a couple of tough matchups, as they visit the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 and host the Buffalo Bills to end the season in Week 18. BetMGM Maryland should see a lot of actionfor that Week 17 matchup against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens as both teams have high-scoring offenses.
Tua Tagovailoa completed 23 of 26 passes for 309 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions on Sunday, helping the Dolphins set a franchise record for single-game points with their 70-20 beatdown of the Broncos at home.
Tagovailoa set an NFL record with 10 straight victories against Super Bowl winning coaches. The Broncos are coached by Sean Payton, who won Super Bowl XLIII as the Saints beat the Colts 31-17 on February 1, 2009 in Tampa.
Star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle missed the game as he entered concussion protocol following the September 17 win against the Patriots.
Dolphins rookie De’Von Achane’s ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and Tyreek Hill caught nine passes for 157 yards and one touchdown.
Tagovailoa, Hill and other starters were pulled from the game early in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos simply could not keep up with the Dolphins and as a result, Russell Wilson is now 0-3 to start a season for the first time in his career. Wilson completed 23 of 38 for 306 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Through three games, both Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense as a whole seem to master Mike McDaniel’s creative system ahead of the Week 4 visit to the Bills next Sunday.