Tua Tagovailoa was the number five overall pick out of Alabama in 2020, and has since gone on to become a controversial figure of sorts among NFL fans.
While Tagovailoa came in with high expectations, he hasn’t quite lived up to them over the course of his young NFL career with Miami — until now, at least.
Tagovailoa tied a Miami Dolphins franchise record on Sunday during a comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens that saw him find an impressive connection with new addition Tyreek Hill, the superstar former Chiefs receiver with a penchant for making impossibly long touchdown catches look easy.
Tagovailoa found Hill on back-to-back long touchdown plays, helping to complete a comeback for the ages, and a record-setting performance for the Dolphins franchise.
This was a dime by Tua. Ravens send a blitz— overload the left side and he slides to his right and drops a beautiful pass to Tyreek Hill pic.twitter.com/kztcYAI3Te
— Joel Moran (@joelvmoran) September 19, 2022
Tyreek Hill has the Ravens physically choking on his dust during this touchdown sprint.
Tua delivered the throw people said he would never make, too. This is exactly the type of offensive explosion the Dolphins envisioned. pic.twitter.com/zVg83mLMa6
— Cole Topham (@HamAnalysis) September 18, 2022
Perhaps Tagovailoa’s success lately is no surprise to Hill, who seemed to predict it prior to the season.
Tyreek Hill: “Tua is the most accurate QB I’ve ever played with.”
Patrick Mahomes: pic.twitter.com/VkLEMo5aAl
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) August 9, 2022
Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle also have a connection that shows signs of becoming a serious headache for opposing defenses.
Waddle scored the game winning touchdown on Sunday against Baltimore.
The fellow Alabama product found the soft spots in the Ravens’ defense all day, and made them pay to the tune of 11 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
This route by Jaylen Waddle had the Ravens defense lost pic.twitter.com/4MOo3hh6JL
— Speak Up (@_SpeakU) September 18, 2022
The “Waddle” might already be a Top 3 Touchdown Dance pic.twitter.com/bW7O1vgm2z
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 18, 2022
Tagovailoa Ties Record Held By Dan Marino, Bob Griese
Tagovailoa finished with 469 yards and six touchdowns against two interceptions on the day, spearheading and then finishing a 21-point comeback against Lamar Jackson and John Harbaugh’s team.
His six TD tosses tied the franchise record held by Dolphins legends Dan Marino and Bob Griese, both Hall-of-Famers, and the latter quarterback the leader of the undefeated 1972 Miami team coached by Don Shula.
While Tagovailoa was labeled a “bust” prematurely by some football pundits, he’s now doing exactly what many Alabama fans knew he was capable of doing: putting a team on his back, and leading them with sheer talent, willpower, clutch play and statistical prowess.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have suddenly become the number one “must see TV” team of the 2022 NFL season, and it looks like things are only going to get better from here on out.
tua to waddle for 62 yards pic.twitter.com/UHEdJwZcEy
— josh houtz (@houtz) September 18, 2022