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Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins' epic comeback win over Ravens puts rest of NFL on the radar

BALTIMORE — Among the handful of Miami Dolphins fans on Sunday afternoon were Dan Marino jerseys. It’s been a long time since Marino was on the court — he was on the sidelines as the team’s standout before the game — and that was the last time it felt like the Dolphins could score anytime, anywhere, when they were on the floor.

Marino never wanted followers like Tua Tagovailoa, and probably always will. No one faulted Marino’s mechanics, and no one questioned his arm strength. Of course, no one doubts that Marino is the right person for the Dolphins job. Perhaps, after Sunday, there won’t be too much doubt and debate about Tagovailoa. His passing didn’t have Marino’s zipper — few quarterbacks have — but on Sunday, he threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns, allowing the Miami Dolphins to go from three in the fourth quarter. Recovering from the lineup for a stunning 42-38 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Tagovailoa gave the Miami Dolphins what Marino does every Sunday and the team has since Things you’ve been longing for – hope, excitement, and a sense of what might happen.

“Now maybe Tua will finally listen to me,” coach Mike McDaniel said. “I mean, it’s great to criticize himself. It’s good. He has high standards for himself. … The absolute worst that can happen at the start of a game, a contested ball, and It wasn’t really his fault for the first interception, then he started to press and threw it on the second interception.

“It was huge. He stopped worrying about the last game, kept playing, and took his teammates seriously. “I’m going to lead this team with confidence.” That’s what you get into sports for. It’s cool for the coaching staff and for him. It comes to life. It’s a moment, I think, that he’ll never forget, and hopefully he can use it to move on. …His teammates learned a lot from him, and I think he learned something about himself. “

It’s understandable if Tagovailoa lacks confidence. Brian Flores, former head coach of the Dolphins Clearly concerned about him. A section of Dolphins fans are still mourning the draft day decision to select Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert in 2020. Last week — after the Dolphins beat the Patriots in their season opener — his former teammate Ryan Fitzpatrick says Tagovailoa is physically constrained Former Saints head coach Sean Payton predicts team will eventually replace Tagovailoa. Tyrek Hill, who has become quarterback’s one-man PR director, said Sunday they can watch Videotape.

“I don’t have to say too much,” Hill said. “All one has to do is watch the movie, who he is, how stable he is, the last time Driving it shows him as a leader, telling people, ‘Make sure you pass the ball to the referee to save time. ‘ “

Like Marino for so long, Tagovailoa has a dynamic pair of receivers who can run under his passes and go with them Running. Jaylen Waddle and Hill are modern-day versions of the Marks Brothers, Duper and Clayton, and they’re so fast they’re prominent in Sunday’s film. Dolphins break at halftime in the face of a near-perfect performance from Lamar Jackson trailed by 21 again at the start of the fourth quarter. After the Dolphins dominated the Patriots last week, it was different — a test of a new coach, a retooled offense and a team that believed it had a different kind of player. Team.

“I told the players that I really want some adversity in this game and I want to see how we deal with the deficit,” McDaniel said. “Obviously , they understand me too much. “

McDaniel also told his team that adversity is an opportunity and this is an opportunity for the Dolphins to prove they can play with the AFC elite and Tagovailoa can play with a player like Jackson Comparable.

The Dolphins’ passing game formula is not difficult to understand: Tagovailoa is mostly short and medium passing, while Waddle and Hill fly, so much that before the game , Hill said he wanted to “get drunk on YAC” like Waddle did last week. Hill missed several games with cramps and finished for 190 yards and two touchdowns, while Waddle finished with 171 yards and two other touchdowns. But it’s not the yardage after the catch that gets noticed. It’s also a Mike Gesicki pass. It’s a stride bomb from Tagovailoa, and some even wonder if he can make that throw … in the fourth quarter, he hit Hill touchdown from 48 yards, who was open behind the Ravens defense. Two and a half minutes later, no Ravens safety played deep, Tagovaloa and Shirley Hill conceded the defense of Cover 0. Hill gave Tagovaloya their secret signal—“Yeah,” Hill said—that Hill told his quarterback he was going to play for him Way. After one round, the Dolphins had a 60-yard touchdown and the game was tied.

Still, Jackson Still has the ball and he’s great, he’s a one-man offense, has thrown a 75-yard touchdown pass and ran a 79-yard touchdown, he’s had a perfect quarterback rating for a long time The game ended with 119 of the Ravens’ 155 rushing yards. At one point, when the game seemed out of time, the crowd rose and chanted “MVP.” They might still be right. But with the game tied, Jackson Only got the Ravens into the shooting position and Justin Tucker gave them a short lead.

Well, that requires something different than Tagovaloa and the Dolphins- – More thoughtful two-minute drive, which results in touchdowns but also time-wasting. Tagovailoa will say later that the last time he played such a game was in college against LSU. Hill said, limiting Ravens from defense From the team’s perspective, the offense had reached its climax. There were short passes as time passed. And on the second and target at the 7-yard line, a perfect pitch to Waddle for a game-winning touchdown.

Tagovailoa has hardly every minute of criticism of his game, even though Hill has gone out of his way to rave about him this summer. If he takes the time to nap on Sunday, no one’s to blame He. He didn’t, opting instead to spread the credit over the running game, the offensive line and the team. He said they didn’t have much in the first half. Law adheres to the offensive rhythm. He always wanted to play big and eventually they came in the second half.

“I’m always confident in what I can do,” he said. “I think it shows the resilience of our team. It lifts all our confidence, our confidence in each other, that if the offense makes a mistake, the defense will pull the ball back.”

Later, Tagovailoa added: “For me, every game is an important game. I think I do well every time I’m on the field.”

Perhaps the most Importantly, Tagovailoa said, even when things didn’t click, no one panicked. In hindsight, it makes sense when you know you have enough firepower to blast out of a hole like the Dolphins did on Sunday.

At halftime, McDaniel challenged his team to say “who cares what it scores,” he said. He hopes they get something from the game that makes them feel good, and they’ll worry about the score again sometime in the fourth quarter. McDaniel said at the time that he didn’t even care about the outcome of the game. Simply put, it’s a huge opportunity to show the Dolphins, and once the Dolphins are within two points, McDaniel is very happy with their chances.

Now the whole league knows who the Dolphins can, something they haven’t had in over two decades. A team capable of creating the biggest fourth-quarter game in franchise history.

“We’ll never give up,” Hill said. “No matter the score. No matter who we play against.”

They will never be out.



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