There he was. There was the quarterback the Miami Dolphins noticed in drafting him. There was the pondering, the accuracy, the playmaking and fully-functioning package deal proper right down to the aftermath when Tua Tagovailoa talked about his favourite play in a day of favorites, an 11-yarder to receiver Trent Sherfield, that was dominated simply wanting the tip zone within the third quarter.
“I feel they took away his landing,” Tua mentioned to the media after the Dolphins’ 31-27 win towards Detroit.
He singled out this play for greater than his telling coach Mike McDaniel to not use it, that he didn’t prefer it, and being proved mistaken after seeing Sherfield open throughout the center. All day Tagovailoa made magic with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. He needed Sherfield to be rewarded with a landing, too.
“They took that away — can we agree?” he requested, then turned to a different reporter and requested. And one other. And …
“That’s 5, six,” he mentioned, nonetheless counting, having enjoyable now. “There’s about 12 individuals elevating their hand.”
He smiled right here, nonetheless combating for one more yard Sunday when his offense had a full load of them. Tua had a giant fourth quarter in coming again towards Baltimore greater than a month in the past. This was the primary sport in three years his offense put the accelerator down from the primary play and didn’t let up till he was finished finishing 29-of-36 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns.
Did he really feel unstoppable?
“Effectively, we really feel the one guys that may cease us is ourselves,” he mentioned.
His greatest full sport?
“I wouldn’t say so, not but,” he mentioned. “Too early nonetheless.”
Ever since he arrived, the parade was forward of Tua, as if he’d already completed what individuals hoped he would. Now some accomplishments have began this yr. It was true he was nice on Sunday. It’s additionally true he did what most each quarterback does towards 1-6 Detroit, too.
The Dolphins’ 31 factors of their sturdy efficiency?
They didn’t match the common 32.3 factors Detroit’s protection surrendered the earlier six video games.
So there’s room to say this Dolphins offense confirmed the indicators of impression you need and say they’ve to indicate it constantly to say one thing particular is at work right here. Does this sport permit this offense to get on tracked now? Does it present such a sport subsequent Sunday towards a great Chicago (3-5) protection?
Is that this what to anticipate from Tagovailoa now, too? That’s the true query right here, the one which’s been requested in some kind since draft day.
So this efficiency by this offense, together with Tua, solely issues past Sunday if it builds to one thing extra. There have been indicators all by the day. McDaniel went to a play wherein Tua threaded an 11-yard landing move to Mike Gesicki to present the Dolphins lead within the third quarter they held to the tip.
“That was the fourth choice,” McDaniel mentioned.
That was the quarterback they drafted, the one they needed, the arm that’s been given the league’s quickest supporting forged with Hill and Waddle. Hill is the MVP of this crew, the man protection’s worry. He had 12 catches for 188 yards on Sunday. That’s 4 instances he’s caught greater than 160 yards this yr. Mark Duper holds the crew document with six such video games. It took Duper 69 video games to get there.
“We didn’t need it to be a observe meet,” Detroit coach Dan Campbell mentioned
It was a observe meet the place the Dolphins took gold and silver with Hill and Waddle, simply as they are going to towards most groups. Tua match into that completely Sunday. Have a look at his third-down stats: 9 for 9 for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
He additionally ran 18 yards on a 3rd down after which did one thing equally essential. He slid to the bottom as a Detroit defender closed on him. His teammates cheered that slide as a lot because the play contemplating the hits he’s taken this yr.
“The blokes have been completely satisfied to see that,” Tua mentioned.
He stood right here, the tip of his greatest sport, even when he didn’t need to say it.
“That is form of what I envisioned [Sunday], however the best factor about this sport is you may by no means get content material,” Tagovailoa mentioned. “You’ve received to proceed to continue to grow. We’ll go and watch the movie and have a look at issues that you realize we might have finished higher. That’s the very best a part of it.”
There he stood, the participant the Dolphins noticed in drafting him. The subsequent query is that if he will be that participant most Sundays.