Tua Tagovailoa made his first start this past Sunday after missing the last three games with a rib injury. Although it was another disappointing loss for the Miami Dolphins, this one does not fall on the quarterback.
Grading Return of Tua Tagovailoa in First Game Back From Injury
The Jacksonville Jaguars got their first win of the season after a last second field goal overseas in London against the Miami Dolphins. It was the Jaguars first win in 20 games, snapping the second longest losing streak in NFL history. For the Miami Dolphins, their nightmare season continues.
Miami started the season 1-0 after barely beating the New England Patriots in Foxborough 17-16. Since then, they’ve lost five straight, and have looked miserable doing so. Their defense, which had very high expectations coming into the season has been absolutely gashed and the offense can’t seem to get anything going.
Despite their struggles, Tagovailoa actually had a pretty good game. He finished 33 for 47 passing with 329 yards and two touchdowns. However, he did throw a very bad and costly interception late in the third quarter which led the Jaguars to score. Up until that moment, Tagovailoa was playing a great game and did not look like he just came back from fractured ribs. His pocket presence is something that stood out the most, as he looked a bit more comfortable in there.
mike gesicki had four catches over 20+ yards yesterday pic.twitter.com/nRUUeT13MO
— josh houtz (@houtz) October 18, 2021
Gisecki and Waddle Shine in London Loss
The Dolphins were also out two of their wide receivers as Preston Williams and deep threat DeVante Parker were nursing injuries. That led to tight end Mike Gesicki to finally have a big game in 2021, racking in eight catches for 115 yards. The Dolphins have yet to utilize Gisecki to his full extent this year, but last Sunday he showed why he is one of the better tight ends in the NFL. Rookie Jaylen Waddle has also broken onto the scene, as he and Tagovailoa, who played together at Alabama, are keeping that Crimson Tide connection strong. He had ten catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns last week, as he continues to improve week after week.
Looks like a Jaylen Waddle day 🍵 pic.twitter.com/tTtdug6lqt
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 17, 2021
In the two games that Tagovailoa has played this year, he has found Waddle 14 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns.
Tagovailoa’s Final Grade: B
Something on the offensive side of the ball has to change now, but there were some good things that happened on Sunday despite the loss. The Dolphins need to come up with a new scheme, or a better way to utilize Tagovailoa and the talent around him. A more consistent run-pass balance, and have Tagovailoa taking more deep shots to his playmakers. Despite the loss, Tagovailoa played pretty well all around and this loss was definitely not on him. Coaching and play calling had a much bigger factor.
Miami will be hosting the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at 1:00 in a must win for both teams. If this team doesn’t turn things around fast and lose their sixth straight game, it might be time for head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier to pack their bags.
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