The Storm That Blew the Miami Dolphins Back to Sea: Part Three

This is part three, a continuation of part one and part two of the five-part series, The Storm That Blew the Miami Dolphins Back to Sea. Part three is the eye of the storm.

The eye of the hurricane is the most peaceful part. There’s no rain and nothing but clear blue skies. A storm brought the Miami Dolphins a seven-game losing streak in 2021. A lull in the storm passed through after the losing streak. The Dolphins began winning again when they were in the eye of the storm.

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Miami Dolphins Blown Back to Sea by a Storm: Part Three

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was ruled out for the game against the Houston Texans due to a small fracture in his finger. Tagovailoa sustained the fracture during the Buffalo Bills game. Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett was named the starter against the Texans.

The Texans were rumored to have Tagovailoa’s replacement. For months, rumors circulated in the news that the Dolphins were interested in making a trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson. But the trade deadline passed and there was still no trade for Watson.

Brissett didn’t play well against the Texans. He threw for 244 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He also was sacked four times. However, Tyrod Taylor played far worse than Brissett. Taylor had no touchdowns, threw three interceptions, and was sacked five times. The Dolphins won the game by a score of 17-9. It was the first win of seven games.

Tua Shines Against the Ravens

The Dolphins next game was a prime-time game on a Thursday night. The game was against the Baltimore Ravens, who had only lost two games at that point. Brissett was once again named the starting quarterback. Fans were perplexed when Tagovailoa was named the backup quarterback for the second consecutive game. Due to the finger injury, Dolphins coach Brian Flores had said Tagovailoa could not make all the throws they needed as a reason for benching him in the Texans game. The consensus was the same for the Ravens games.

So, when Tagovailoa came in the Ravens game and threw a 35-yard pass to receiver Jaylen Waddle, some fans questioned Flores’ choice of quarterbacks. Because of an injury to Brissett, Tagovailoa had to go in the game during the third quarter. But Tagovailoa’s supporters wanted to know why he wasn’t well enough to start but was able to enter the game and play great. Tagovailoa helped win the game against the Ravens with a rating of 104.  He completed eight of thirteen passes for 158 yards with one rushing touchdown. With Lamar Jackson leading the Ravens as a quarterback, the narrative was that it was going to be a bad loss for the Dolphins. When Tua sealed the Dolphins unexpected victory with the great quarterback play, fans began chanting, “Tua! Tua! Tua!”

Dolphins Get a Seven-Game Winning Streak

By the time the Dolphins played the New Orleans Saints on prime-time television, they were on a winning streak. Tua had shown that he was healthy enough to play and was throwing deep passes more often. After defeating the Saints, the Dolphins had a seven-game win streak.

The Dolphins had become the first team in NFL history to lose seven games and then win seven games. Tagovailoa had become the best quarterback in the NFL at completing passes. Tagovailoa entered week 17 with a 70.1 completion percentage, the best in the league. Waddle was close to setting a rookie record with receptions. And the Dolphins were the seventh seed for the playoffs.

But what many fans didn’t realize was that the calm in the eye of the storm was about to be over with. The eye of the storm would pass and soon the eyewall of the storm would hit. And by week 17, the Dolphins would once again face the storm that blew them back to sea.

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