Swimming Forward

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Miami Dolphins are having a season better than most people would have expected before the season started.

They were 3 – 3 with starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. They won two consecutive games with him and were second place in the AFC East. Kind of a strange time to bench him for rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

The last time we saw Tagovailoa his final season at Alabama was cut short due to a devastating hip injury.

It was so bad we don’t even factor in the broken nose he also suffered on that play. That injury was so bad it could possibly end his football career so it’s impressive the fifth overall pick has kept battling.

The biggest factor for this QB change is the potential for a high 2021 draft pick.

They traded disgruntled tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans and they will have their first-round pick.

The Texans are 1 – 6 and heading for a terrible season. The front office probably wants to find out now if Tua is the answer. If not, they might have an opportunity to Draft Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.

Let’s recap Tua’s first start. I didn’t think they did him any favors with letting him play against the Los Angeles Rams.

As you know LA has super star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and corner back Jalen Ramsey. Not very quarterback friendly. Miami shocked us with an upset win, 28 – 17. Delving deeper though we see Tua was not the reason.

Tagovailoa completed 12 of 22 pass attempts for 93 yards and 1 touchdown.

Those sound like 1970’s stats. He also had one fumble. The Rams had 471 total yards and Miami only had 145 yards.

They also had 31 first downs and the Dolphins only had 8. The difference in the game was turnovers and special teams.

Los Angeles had 4 turnovers and Miami had 2. Miami scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery. They also returned a punt for a touchdown.

Here’s some of what Tua had to say about his first start. “I don’t think I played to the standard of what this offense is capable of. There were certain plays where I could have stepped up and made the right throw, made the right decision. But I’ve heard it many times from the guys in the locker room: I’s good that we still came out with the win. Aside from that, thank God we’ve got a good defense, so when we do start to string good plays together, we know that we can be able to make plays and then get the ball back and continue to try to do the same.”

Tua also added, “It was fun just being able to go out there and play a full 60-minute game now. Being that it was my first start in the NFL. We really faced a really good defense. I’m proud of what we’ve got to do offensively, but I do know that there’s still a lot of things we need to correct come Monday. But you can’t say that this defense isn’t really good — they’ve got [Michael] Brockers, they’ve got Aaron Donald, they’ve got [Taylor] Rapp, Jalen Ramsey and all these other guys — and not expect to be stopped a good amount of times. That’s just not realistic.”

Miami is now 4 – 3 but they won’t have a winning record for long. The next game is at Arizona. Kyler Murray is playing very well and living up to being the first overall pick in 2019.

I hope Tua can continue to improve because he’s on a very short leash.