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Tua Tagovailoa off to hot start: Dolphins QB amongst NFL passing leaders, joining Dan Marino in history books

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Tua Tagovailoa has certainly received his fair share of criticism throughout his young NFL career, though the Miami Dolphins quarterback did his best to silence doubters during the first two weeks of the season. Tagovailoa turned into one of the best passers in the early game, a revitalized quarterback thanks to the head coach (Mike McDaniel) and two of the best playmakers in the game, Tyreke Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

The results show that Tagovailoa is the Dolphins’ franchise quarterback, becoming one of the league’s highest-scoring passers in two games. While it may be a small sample size, Tagovailoa continues to show progress as a quarterback, which led him to talk to Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, other quarterbacks who were selected in the top 10 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. .

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In this week’s In the Numbers, let’s take a look at where Tagovailoa ranks among the NFL leaders this season, and how his breakout performance on Sunday landed in the Dolphins’ books of records.

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Passing NFL Leaders – Completion Percentage

  1. Jeno Smith (Seahawks) – 81%
  2. Josh Allen (Bills) – 75.4%
  3. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) – 73%
  4. Matthew Stafford (Rams) – 72.7%
  5. Justin Herbert (Chargers) – 72%
  6. Tua Tagovailoa (“Dolphins”) – 71.1%

NFL Passing Leaders — Passing Yards

  1. Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) — 739
  2. Carson Wentz (commanders) – 650
  3. Joe Flacco (Jets) – 616
  4. Josh Allen (Bills) – 614
  5. Justin Herbert (Chargers) – 613

Passing NFL Leaders – Passing TDs

  1. Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) — 7
  2. Carson Wentz (commanders) – 7
  3. Josh Allen (Bills) – 7
  4. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) – 7
  5. Justin Herbert (Chargers) – 6
  6. Lamar Jackson (Ravens) – 6
  7. Jared Goff (Lions) – 6

Passing NFL Leaders — Passer Rating

  1. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) – 127.9
  2. Josh Allen (Bills) – 123.7
  3. Lamar Jackson (Ravens) – 120.1
  4. Tua Tagovailoa (“Dolphins”) – 116.5.
  5. Justin Herbert (Chargers) – 112.5
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In the four major passing categories, Tagovailoa ranks in the top six in all of them, with the lowest, shockingly, being its completion percentage. Tagovailoa, the only quarterback with 700 yards in two weeks, and Allen, Mahomes, and Wentz in the passing touchdown lead, are pretty good company.

Tagovailoa doesn’t just connect to short passes. He leads the NFL in 10+ yard passes (434) and is tied for the league lead in completions (18) and passing touchdowns (5) in 10+ yard passes. He is third in the league in yards per attempt (8.9) and fifth in the NFL in touchdowns per attempt (8.4). Tagovailoa was first attempting 42.2% of his passes, second only to Mahomes in this category.

As a result, Tagovailoa is one of the best quarterbacks in the league early on. His comeback in Sunday’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens caught the league’s attention.

Most completions in a game – Dolphin Story

  1. Dan Marino (1986) – 39
  2. Dan Marino (1997) – 38
  3. Tua Tagovailoa (2022) – 36

Most passing yards in a game – Dolphins history

  1. Dan Marino (1988) – 521
  2. Dan Marino (1994) – 573
  3. Dan Marino (1984) — 470
  4. Tua Tagovailoa (2022) – 469
  5. Dan Marino (1995) – 450

Most passing touchdowns in the game – Dolphins story

  1. Bob Grise (1977) – 6
  2. Dan Marino (1986) – 6
  3. Tua Tagovailoa (2022) – 6

Tagovailoa’s game was one of the best quarterback games in the legendary Dolphins franchise. Only Marino has more completions and passing yards in a game than Tagovailoa, who became the third quarterback to throw six touchdowns in a game for the organization, joining Grisa and Marino (who are arguably the two best quarterbacks to ever play for the franchise) . ).

Five of Tagovailoa’s six touchdowns came in the second half, four of which came in the fourth quarter. He joined Joe Montana as the only quarterback in NFL history to score four touchdowns in a game on the road, and only the fifth quarterback in league history to accomplish the feat.

The Dolphins trailed by 21 points in the fourth round to take the win, the biggest comeback in franchise history. Tagovailoa finished 13 of 17 for 199 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the fourth quarter with a 154.2 rating — Miami’s first win at M&T Bank Stadium and the Dolphins’ first victory in Baltimore since 1997.

The performance was historic for Tagovailoa, who continues to prove he can win games for the Dolphins by becoming the starting quarterback. Looking at Tagovailoa’s first 23 starts, his criticism was overblown.

Highest completion percentage – first 23 starts (NFL history)

  1. Joe Barrow (Bengals) – 67.1%
  2. Deshawn Watson (Texans) – 66.9%
  3. Kurt Warner (Rams) – 66.5%
  4. Justin Herbert (Chargers) – 66.4%
  5. Tua Tagovailoa (“Dolphins”) – 66.2%

Best winning percentage in first 23 career starts since 2017

  1. Lamar Jackson (Ravens) – .870 (20-3)
  2. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) – .739 (17-6)
  3. Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) – 0.652 (15-8)
  4. Deshawn Watson (Texans) – .609 (14-9)
  5. Josh Allen (Bills) – .609 (14-9)

Tagovailoa has always had a high completion rate despite being unable to shoot deep into the field due to a poor offensive line in his first two years in the league. Despite only having 27 touchdown passes, Tagovailoa ranks fifth in NFL history in completion percentage (66.2%) after a player’s first two seasons (minimum 500 attempts). That’s due to three offensive coordinators in his first two seasons in the league, and the Dolphins have been dealing with numerous trade rumors regarding Tagovailoa’s status as the team’s starting quarterback.

The Dolphins finally showed faith in Tagovailoa, developing an offense around him and giving him a shot at becoming a franchise quarterback. This decision paid off, even with a small sample size.


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