Secrets of the Tua Tagovailoa Trio

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 9 - Tua Tagovailoa ranks first in the NFL in passing DVOA. Tyreek Hill ranks second to Stefon Diggs in DYAR and 13th in DVOA. Jaylen Waddle ranks third in DYAR and second to Tyler Boyd in DVOA.

The stats are speaking to us about the Miami Dolphins. But what are they saying?

a) DVOA proves that Tagovailoa is a great quarterback, far superior to (say) Justin Herbert, and therefore should immediately be signed to a fully-guaranteed $300-million contract extension;

b) Tua's high DVOA proves that analytics are meaningless and that no one at Football Outsiders actually watches games;

c) DVOA does not "prove" anything, but it does indicate that the Dolphins passing game has been highly effective this season and that Tua must be contributing in some positive way;

d) Cake is delicious.

If you answered d), you are WRONG: cake is highly overrated. Seriously, when is the last time you ate a slice of cake in a non-birthday/wedding situation? We have moved beyond cake as a society.

No, the answer is obviously c), because moderation is the way of the warrior, and we are here today to dive a little deeper into the Dolphins passing statistics in search of wisdom.

Before we do that, let's take another quiz. Watch the following video:

What did you see?

a) A gutsy game manager scanning the defense and delivering a catchable ball to an open receiver;

b) An All-Pro receiver saving the day on an underthrown pass by a quarterback with a pea-shooter arm;

c) An example of how the Dolphins have achieved a kind of synergy between Tagovailoa and his receivers; or

d) What the hell is your beef against cake?

The answer here is again c). The Dolphins highlight reel is loaded with apparent underthrows that turn into big plays for Hill and Waddle. But it's also full of moderate-to-deep completions to wide-open receivers, whether they be Tyreek and Waddle or guys such as Trent Sherfield and Mike Gesicki.

Have the Dolphins really discovered a sustainable model for success with Tagovailoa at quarterback?

We'll try to answer that question in a moment. But let's start out by saying something certain: opponents play defense as if they are terrified of Hill and Waddle.

Tua, Tyreek, and Waddle: No Blitzing Allowed

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are so fast and elusive that they limit what opposing defenses can do against the Dolphins: blitzing is a bad idea, while aligning safeties in the box is almost unthinkable.

Dolphins quarterbacks have faced a three- or four-man pass rush on 259 dropbacks, the sixth-highest figure in the NFL. They have faced a blitz (five or more rushers) on just 58 dropbacks, the fifth-lowest total in the NFL. The 18.3% opponents' blitz rate against the Dolphins is the lowest figure in the league. All splits are courtesy Sports Info Solutions unless otherwise noted.

To gauge how often defenses play on their heels, Walkthrough filters the Sports Info Solutions database for Cover-2, Man-2, Cover-4, and Prevent coverage schemes. The Dolphins have faced such coverages on 134 dropbacks, tied with the Raiders and Buccaneers for the third-highest figure behind the Bengals and, surprisingly, the Steelers.

The Bengals cause many of the same problems for defenses as the Dolphins. The Buccaneers have attempted 48 more passes than the Dolphins, so naturally they rank above them in "two-deep" coverages and three-/four-man rushes (though not blitzes). The Raiders, like the Dolphins (and Bengals and Bucs), have dangerous deep receivers, and both the Raiders and Steelers have faced a lot of soft late-game coverage. The Raiders, for example, attempted 22 passes that fit our coverage criteria in their Week 8 shutout against the Saints.

Sports Info Solutions tracks zero coverage: man coverage with no safeties deep, usually due to a jailbreak blitz. The Dolphins have not faced zero coverage once this year. The Ravens, as you might have guessed, lead the NFL with 16 dropbacks against zero coverage.

The Dolphins have faced Cover-1‚ÄĒman coverage with one deep safety‚ÄĒjust 46 times, the fifth-lowest figure in the NFL. The Falcons, Titans, 49ers, and Raiders rank below them. Those teams have thrown between 40 and 132 fewer passes than the Dolphins.

We're getting a pretty clear picture of how opponents try to defend against Tyreek, Waddle, and the Dolphins: a steady diet of two deep safeties, four-man rushes, and little else. Let's examine how Tagovailoa and the other Dolphins quarterbacks have digested all of this pudding.

Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater Versus Vanilla Defenses

Here is how the Dolphins quarterbacks (including Tagovailoa's backups, Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson) have fared against three- and four-man rushes, including their rankings among quarterbacks with 25-plus attempts in such circumstances:

MIA QBs When Not Blitzed
  Tua Teddy Thompson
Comp% 70.8% (8th) 61.0% (35th) 59.0% (37th)
Y/A 9.3 (2nd) 8.5 (6th) 6.1 (38th)
INT% 2.1% (17th) 5.1% (42nd) 2.6% (25th)
aDOT 9.2 (6th) 8.9 (8th) 8.4 (15th)

There are a few things to point out before we continue:

  • Bridgewater and Thompson attempted many of their passes when Greg Little and Brandon Shell were filling in for Terron Armstead at left tackle. Armstead is so good, and the others were so terrible, that it drags down their numbers.
  • Several small-sample passers‚ÄĒJameis Winston, Mitch Trubisky, Brett Rypien‚ÄĒrank ahead of Tagovailoa and Bridgewater on the average depth of target list. Marcus Mariota and Justin Fields are the only true starters ahead of the Dolphins two primary quarterbacks in aDOT, and both of them play in rather unconventional offenses that don't take tons of deep shots.
  • Yes, we all saw Tagovailoa throw a bunch of near-interceptions against the Steelers. We're going with the data we have right now.

The numbers above demonstrate that Tua has been highly effective pushing the ball down the field against non-blitzes. But will a two-deep shell be the Dolphins' KRYPTONITE? Again, we are using Cover-2, Man-2, Cover-4, and Prevent as our "deep coverage" definition. Thompson did not meet our minimum of 25 attempts.

MIA QBs vs. Deep Coverages
  Tua Teddy
Comp% 61.0% (23rd) 61.5% (22nd)
YPA 8.1 (8th) 8.3 (7th)
INT% 3.4 (16th) 7.7 (34th)
aDOT 10.6 (5th) 9.0 (15th)

The deep-coverage rates paint a picture of a team that aggressively pushes the ball downfield, even with the safeties deep, and enjoys some success when doing so. It's worth noting that neither Dolphins quarterback has been settling for dump-offs against deep safeties, despite their reputations: Tagovailoa and Bridgewater have been throwing downfield, sacrificing completion rate for high yards per attempt figures.

Shifting our focus to the wide receivers, Hill is 20-of-32 for 340 yards against deep coverage, with an aDOT of 14.8 yards. Only Chris Olave, Mack Hollins, and George Pickens have a higher aDOT against deep coverage on 20-plus targets, and Hill has 10 more targets than any of them.

Waddle is 14-of-23 for 226 yards with an aDOT of 11.4 yards. Trent Sherfield and Mike Gesicki have each been targeted 10-plus times against deep coverage, each with an aDOT over 10.0 yards.

Let's blitz Tua and see what happens. Neither Bridgewater nor Thompson were blitzed enough for a meaningful sample:

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Blitzes
  Tua
Comp% 66.7% (7th)
YPA 8.2 (6th)
INT% 0.0% (T-1st)
aDOT 9.2 (5th)
Sack% 6.4% (13th)

To clarify, Tagovailoa ranks 13th-best out of 35 qualifying quarterbacks at avoiding sacks against the blitz. Many quarterbacks‚ÄĒJustin Fields, Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, Joe Flacco, Mac Jones, Matt Ryan‚ÄĒhave sack rates against the blitz that are more than double Tua's rate.

Tagovailoa does a very respectable job beating the blitz, in part because he knows who to look for. Hill is 13-of-18 for 184 yards and eight first downs against the blitz (no matter who is the quarterback), Waddle 8-of-11 for 116 yards and seven first downs. Hill's average depth of target on these passes is 12.5 yards, Waddle's 11.3. No other Dolphins receiver has been targeted against the blitz more than four times.

So if the defense sits back in soft coverage, Tagovailoa and the other Dolphins quarterbacks still look for Hill and Waddle down the field. If they blitz, Tua and the others look for Hill and Waddle down the field. Opponents understandably don't tempt fate with the Dolphins receivers very often, so they sit back in deep coverage far more often than they blitz.

One last set of numbers before the next segment. Remember Cover-1? Opponents have only used it 46 times against the Dolphins. That may be because Dolphins quarterbacks are 26-of-38 for 394 yards and three touchdowns against Cover-1. Allowing 10.4 yards per pass attempt is bad. Opponents have managed to sack Tagovailoa four times and Thompson once playing Cover-1. Still, man coverage is a limited-use, high-risk strategy that has not produced results against the Dolphins.

Tua, Tyreek, and Waddle: Intermediate Overdrive

Combing through the stats and splits for the Dolphins passing game, it was as informative to discover what's NOT going on as what is going on.

Dolphins quarterbacks are not unduly benefiting from tons of YAC. Dolphins receivers average 4.7 yards after catch per completion, the sixth-lowest figure in the NFL.

The Dolphins are no longer the RPO Speedwagon. Dolphins quarterbacks have attempted 22 RPO passes, including one sack: the fifth-highest total in the NFL, but well below the league-leading Eagles (39) and Packers (37). Roughly three RPO passes per game feels like a reasonable use of the tactic as an extension of the quick/play-action scheme. The Dolphins led the NFL with 89 RPO dropbacks in 2021, many of them clustered in Tagovailoa's starts.

The Dolphins offense is not a screen-o-rama. Tagovailoa and the others have attempted 169 passes to targets within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, 17th in the NFL. They have attempted 53 passes to targets at or behind the line of scrimmage, 23rd in the NFL. They are a more-or-less average dink-and-dunking team, not remotely close to screen-and-flare-happy teams like the Cardinals and Packers. Entering the season, I expected Mike McDaniel to build half his passing game around RPOs and shallow drags to Hill. That has not been the case at all.

After watching lots of Dolphins games and scouring the stat sheet, it was time to play a hunch. The Dolphins want to throw deep. But Tagovailoa simply cannot throw that deep. Hill and Waddle can both beat man coverage in their first few strides and force zone or off-coverage defenders to give them ridiculous cushions. Therefore, the "sweet spot" for maximizing the value of Tyreek and Waddle should be in the 10- to 25-yard range: far enough downfield to make best use of their skills, but not in the "Tua needs a running start" range.

Let's run Tagovailoa's numbers in that 10- to 25-air yard range. Remember: he missed two-and-a-half games.

  • Attempts: 66 (T-6th)
  • Completions: 47 (1st)
  • Yards: 904 (1st)
  • Comp%: 71.2% (1st)
  • Y/A: 13.7 (2nd)
  • Int%: 0.0% (T-1st)
  • Average Throw Depth: 14.7 (29th)

Check out all the first-place finishes in this admittedly homebrewed stat split. Tagovailoa has thrown as many 10- to 25-yard passes as Josh Allen; Tom Brady leads the NFL with 70 but has completed just 42 of them. A 71.2% completion rate on passes well down the field is downright remarkable. Bailey Zappe leads the NFL with 16.6 yards per attempt, but on just 24 plays.

Hill leads the NFL with 36 targets and 25 catches in this range. Waddle is fourth in targets with 30, second in catches with 22, and first in yards with 484. Hill is second to Waddle in yards. Gesicki and Sherfield combined for 15 catches and 257 yards in this range; remember that the passing statistics above do not include Bridgewater or Thompson.

We have honed in on what is unique about the Dolphins passing game this year. Hill and Waddle are constantly open on intermediate passes. If the defense is giving them too much cushion, Tagovailoa is capable of getting the ball to them underneath. If they win off the line against tight coverage, Tua can deliver a touch pass in the 20-yard range. Throw in Tyreek out-leaping defenders for the occasional 20-plus-yard can of corn and you get an offense that can both light up the scoreboard at times and light DVOA's fire. And it's hard to figure out what defenses can do about it, because no secondary since the Legion of Boom was even remotely equipped to deal with the Tyreek/Waddle combination.

Tua Tagovailoa and Sustainability

There is no question that the Dolphins offense has performed well with Tagovailoa under center this season. There are legitimate questions, however, about the short- and long-term sustainability of what the Dolphins are achieving.

Six games' worth of DVOA cannot answer any long-term questions. Watching Tagovailoa take a running start and launch the football from behind his ear like a Little League outfielder and still underthrow his deep targets, it's almost impossible to project him into the top-tier, first-quartile, win-because-of rank of quarterbacks, now or ever. But that doesn't mean he cannot have a career like Alex Smith or develop into someone a healthy notch better than Jimmy Garoppolo. Tua looks significantly better than Bridgewater this year, something not all of us assumed would be true in the summertime. We're probably doomed to years and years of circular Tua arguments, most of which stem from our obsession with circular arguments about B-tier quarterbacks.

In the short term, however, there is no reason to doubt that the Dolphins can sustain their current success, so long as Hill and Waddle stay healthy. There's nothing here to "figure out," no secret strategy at play. Hill and Waddle are quicker/faster/better than everyone else's cornerbacks. Tagovailoa is accurate and decisive enough to get the ball to them, with enough touch and anticipation to make up for his lack of a fastball. The Dolphins running game and tertiary receivers are fine. Defenses have little choice but to rush four, keep two deep, and hope for protection breakdowns and misfires. The "dropped interception" concerns have some merit, but let's see where Tua's interception rate really lands in this new offense; a quarterback throwing downfield a lot can expect (and afford) a slightly elevated interception rate.

Bottom line: the Dolphins offense dictates the terms of every engagement, which automatically puts them in better position than the defense.

The Dolphins also just added Bradley Chubb on defense, of course, plus Jeff Wilson to juice their running game. They have already beaten the Bills and Ravens. They could and should be 7-3 entering the bye after they face the Bears and Browns. The Dolphins will never be Super Bowl favorites in a conference with the Bills and Chiefs. But their passing game gives them the potential to beat any team at any time, putting them in position to pounce if the top contenders falter. And that goes for this year and for 2023, when they can run back more or less the same lineup.

Quibbling about what the Dolphins might do ultimately detracts from what they are doing right now. Next time Tagovailoa connects with Tyreek on some unlikely, ungainly bomb, don't scoff about how underthrown the ball was. Enjoy the highlight instead, and worry about what happens when opponents learn how to stop it if and when that happens.

Comments

71 comments, Last at 07 Nov 2022, 4:27pm

#1 by KnotMe // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:31am

The cake is a lie.

Points: 0

#13 by peterplaysbass // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:35am

I get that joke, and I appreciate that you made it.

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#2 by mehllageman56 // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:42am

In your example, Tua throws off his back foot, which makes sense because there's a free rusher.  Hill and Waddle are helping Tua's completion percentage a lot, but I don't think he has a problem throwing 30 yard bombs, because Pennington didn't have that problem.  The thing to look for with weak armed QBs is the deep out, because those throws need the most velocity because otherwise CBs break on them and turn them into picks.

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#11 by fyo // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:08am

A breakdown of all Tua's by depth of throw in buckets across the field:

https://nextgenstats.nfl.com/charts/player/season/tua-tagovailoa/TAG620344/2022/all/qb-grid

Not exactly the same as by route, but the ball still needs to get to the appropriate area of the field on time. A sufficiently weak-armed quarterback would be expected to have below-average results on those deep sideline targets that are the furthest away.

The chart is severely lacking a "volume" indicator, but short middle and short right are the only areas where Tua is below league average.

Compare that chart to last year's:

https://nextgenstats.nfl.com/charts/player/season/tua-tagovailoa/TAG620344/2021/all/qb-grid

Almost inverted.

Anyway, we'll know a lot more once the season is over, provided Tua doesn't get clobbered again. That offensive line is still trash, ranked bottom 5 in pass protection (pass block win rate) by ESPN and a solid last by PFF. He's getting rid of the ball almost exactly as quickly as last year.

Points: 0

#3 by fyo // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:42am

Cake rocks!

Seriously, not only is cake seriously delicious but baking a cake is an awesome family activity. Even if only 2 out of my 3 kids are willing to stumble from their iPad-lit darkened rooms for the actual baking, all 3 are willing to partake in the eating. Not many activities can manage that!

(And, no, the cake is not a lie. Unless it's a pancake, then it's a lie. Unless there's real maple syrup, then it's okay. Not a cake, but not quite a lie, either.)

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#25 by Pat // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:30pm

Well, Mike's that house that hands out bags of chips on Halloween, so it's easy to understand he doesn't appreciate proper desserts.

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#27 by JimZipCode // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:48pm

Here's the best Cake:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4H5lBCWxqQ

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#36 by TimK // Nov 04, 2022 - 2:08pm

Being from the UK I’m only too aware of the dangers of cake…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbq3kc29Tmg

(Link to Brass Eye segment, ‚ÄėShatner‚Äôs Bassoon‚Äô etc‚Ķ for those who don‚Äôt like following unknown strangers to YouTube‚Ķ)

 

Points: 0

#4 by Pat // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:43am

Seriously, when is the last time you ate a slice of cake in a non-birthday/wedding situation

Uh, often? Poundcake or angel food cake with berries on top? Cheesecake cupcakes? Carrot cake? Banana bread (ha, 'bread', it's cake in bread loaf form)? Hell yes. 

You've just been fooled by the "can't have cake for breakfast" mafia into thinking cake can't be healthy and so should only be used for indulgences. To paraphrase Jim Gaffigan, can't have cake for breakfast, but fried cake with syrup is OK! Or "you know what's the difference between cake and a muffin? Nothin'."

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#8 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:52am

Cheesecake isn't cake. It's an Icelandic Danish.

\Iceland used to be Danish, but it escaped.

Points: 0

#10 by Pat // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:02am

I believe in equally respecting cake of all different types. Don't be a cakist.

If I make a cheesecake with a cake base instead of a crust, is it a cake then? What about if I take cheesecake, break it up, and stuff another cake with it (which is stupid good)?

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#14 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:36am

You can make cheesecake with literally no grains.
(Also, equally oddly -- no cheese)

It's a pudding on a cracker! It's actually a pie masquerading as a cake.

If I make a cheesecake with a cake base instead of a crust, is it a cake then?

You mean NY style? That's an abomination before god.

Points: 0

#18 by Pat // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:08pm

You can make cheesecake with literally no grains.

How does that matter? There's grain-free flour now!

You mean NY style? That's an abomination before god.

"NY style" cheesecake is often just the amount of cream cheese. I'm talking Junior's, and if that's an abomination before god, your god can go straight to hell.

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#31 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:28pm

How does that matter? There's grain-free flour now!

Grain-free sadness, you mean.

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#45 by almon // Nov 04, 2022 - 3:34pm

when i buy birthday cakes i always get one for 3x the size of my family so i can eat it for the rest of the week ...

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#60 by Noahrk // Nov 05, 2022 - 10:10am

I was really worried about what I was going to find when I saw this article had 60 comments. I'm happy to see they're mostly about cake. I agree, of course, that cake is delicious.

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#5 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:44am

d) What the hell is your beef against cake?

That's Edward Harrison Leslie's music!

\et tu, Brute?

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#6 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:44am

Have the Dolphins really discovered a sustainable model for success with Tagovailoa at quarterback?

"Play the Lions" is not a sustainable model.

But that doesn't mean he cannot have a career like Alex Smith or develop into someone a healthy notch better than Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Chad Pennington is probably the pinnacle of noodle-armed QBs.

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#37 by TimK // Nov 04, 2022 - 2:14pm

‚ÄúPlay the Lions‚ÄĚ has been working for the rest of the NFC North quite well for a while.

Decent timing and knowledge of the plays can work with a certain level of noodleness, though Peyton Manning‚Äôs final season showed that there are limits. Tua has some mobility too, and a QB who can make good use of good teammates is demonstrably enough to win with, whether it works in the long term probably depends on coaching up new teammates as contract/cap forces changes. A solid QB who is willing to paid decent but not ‚Äėelite‚Äô money ought to be viable in the league, but it doesn‚Äôt seem to happen that way much.

 

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#7 by johonny // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:47am

I like that suddenly Miami has decided to use their first round picks on guys that aren't 4-5 year projects. Hill is the best player Miami's seen since Jason Taylor. He's the best offensive player since Rickey Williams. Teamed with Waddle it feels like Clayton and Duper 2.0. But Clayton and Duper weren't enough because those teams defenses SUCKED. The last two seasons Miami's defense has found it's MOJO in the second half and that propelled the team into playoffs talk. With the assumption their offense will at least score more this year, will the MOJO reappear? 

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#19 by BigRichie // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:10pm

Tyreek is a much better offensive player than Ricky Williams. (which HoF voting will emphatically confirm)

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#53 by jjohnson177 // Nov 04, 2022 - 6:03pm

I believe the point he was making was that Miami hasn't had a decent offensive weapon to change a game, like Tyreek, since  Ricky. Which is completely fair.

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#9 by Pat // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:55am

Next time Tagovailoa connects with Tyreek on some unlikely, ungainly bomb, don't scoff about how underthrown the ball was. Enjoy the highlight instead, and worry about what happens when opponents learn how to stop it if and when that happens.

They'll... throw to him short?

I mean, think about what you said earlier: Dolphins QBs are not unduly benefiting from YAC. And this is Tyreek Hill we're talking about. You hit him on a slant in stride, he can take it to the house no problem.

I don't get the point of talking about Tagovailoa's arm strength. Deep balls are just a negligible part of an offense. They're like, bonus points when you can work them, but the threat of them is actually just as useful. All you need to do is shift a safety or get a corner's hips turned. It doesn't even really matter if you can't hit them, because of course you can hit an intermediate-depth ball and it's not like a corner can just bail on you once they're in trail.

Yeah, of course things would get harder once the safeties close in, but Miami's the third-best pass offense by DVOA right now. They've got plenty of room to go down.

Points: 0

#39 by JonesJon // Nov 04, 2022 - 2:54pm

Arm strength matters but the notion that seemed to take hold that Tua couldn't be good because he didn't have a rocket arm always perplexed me. He doesn't even seem to have a spectacularly weak arm. Part of me thinks it is just that we aren't used to seeing left handed throws

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#59 by Noahrk // Nov 05, 2022 - 9:59am

Did your see that video of Tua making the rounds a few weeks ago that was flipped vertically? It's amazing how much stronger his arm looked. And yet, there are the underthrows. I don't know what to think, but I sometimes wonder if it's a deliberate strategy, like what Flacco used to do. Except, instead of trying to draw OP, it's to let the WR adjust to the pass.

Not the one in the video, of course, Tua can throw it much farther than that, as mehellegan explained.

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#42 by JoelBarlow // Nov 04, 2022 - 3:06pm

with those WRs and supposedly a coach good at generating YAC would indicate there are some issues here

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#12 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:30am

And letting players develop is crazy. He's a top 2 MVP candidate btw.

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#15 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:39am

He's not, but we've started to take Mahomes and Allen for granted, and we've forgotten the Goff/Garoppolo lesson.

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#16 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 04, 2022 - 11:43am

So of course you randomly bring up guys with better HCs.

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#20 by BigRichie // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:13pm

What does that have to do with the specific topic you brought up? I trust you're not arguing "MVP voters hold good HCs against players"?

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#21 by BigRichie // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:16pm

In reply to by BigRichie

What's random about bringing up the 2 guys who are much more likely to get MVP votes?

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#22 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:17pm

In reply to by BigRichie

You tell me what he was insinuating though. 

And use the edit button. 

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#24 by BigRichie // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:20pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Certainly. Nothing.

(Ockhams' Razor; makes life both more understandable and easier to navigate)

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#26 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:35pm

Tua, top 2 MVP stands.

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#32 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:31pm

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/awards/ap-nfl-mvp-award.htm

It seems like most MVP winners have pretty good HCs -- aside from maybe Ryan/Quinn and Peterson/Frazier.

Hell, even McNair had the good Fisher.

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#35 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:47pm

Along with

  • 1st in EPA+CPOE composite (min 48 plays)
  • 1st in EPA/play (min 48 plays)
  • 1st in Adj EPA/play (min 48 plays)
  • 1st in Passer Rating (min 9 pass attempts)
  • 1st in QBR¬†(min 9 pass attempts)
  • 1st in Y/A¬†(min 9 pass attempts)
  • 1st in AY/A¬†(min 9 pass attempts)
  • 1st in NY/A¬†(min 9 pass attempts)
  • 1st in ANY/A¬†(min 9 pass attempts)
  • 1st in Y/C¬†(min 143¬†pass attempts)
  • 1st in Passing DVOA (min 10 pass attempts)
  • 1st in Passing VOA (min 10 pass attempts)
  • 5-0 in games finished
  • Team¬†0-2 when he doesn't play

And that's just surface level fun. 

 

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#40 by JonesJon // Nov 04, 2022 - 2:56pm

The MVP is a 3 way race between Allen, Mahomes, and Hurts

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#41 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 04, 2022 - 3:03pm

Because the denial of all the above because... reasons, sure is something. 

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#43 by KnotMe // Nov 04, 2022 - 3:13pm

This is just trolling isn't it? Rare to see in these parts. 

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#56 by nick.hornsby // Nov 04, 2022 - 10:21pm

While by advanced metrics, Tua is great, I doubt most voters are going to attribute that to him, and not to Waddle and Hill. I would absolutely put Mahomes and Allen above Tua in the MVP race. 

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#57 by Tutenkharnage // Nov 05, 2022 - 8:57am

Vegas confirms it, as does the MVP’s recent history: it almost always goes to the quarterback on one of the league’s #1 seeds, and Allen, Hurts, and Mahomes are all much more likely to enjoy that advantage than Tagovailoa is. 

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#66 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 05, 2022 - 8:21pm

Ill think for myself.

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#55 by Ben // Nov 04, 2022 - 8:11pm

If you mean top 2 candidate for MVP on the Dolphins, I can agree with that. I think Hill edges him out though. 

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#58 by Tutenkharnage // Nov 05, 2022 - 9:00am

Look, their offense is good right now‚ÄĒmuch better than I thought it would be‚ÄĒbut having Tagovailoa on it will always cap it in a way that having a quarterback with a stronger arm wouldn‚Äôt. Even if you‚Äôre a Tua stan, be honest: how much better would that offense be with someone like Mahomes, Allen, or even Herbert running it? How many of those underthrown balls that Hill bailed out would be easy scores? A lot of them. So even though Miami looks very good, I hope they stick with Tua, because I don‚Äôt want them to look great.¬†

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#62 by Noahrk // Nov 05, 2022 - 10:33am

So your suggestion is in order to get from the third best passing offense to the best, they should move on from Tua and draft someone roughly as good as Mahomes or Allen, correct? With only the best interests of the Dolphins at heart, of course.

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#63 by Tutenkharnage // Nov 05, 2022 - 11:43am

But there's only one Cheetah in the league. The Dolphins can get by with Tua because they currently have the league's best receiving duo. What happens in two years when Hill is a few months from turning 31 if they've given Tua a big contract? Perpetual wild-card territory at best, that's what.

I think it's good for Miami that they've been so good on offense this year. I also think this is very likely to be the ceiling, and it has a short shelf life unless they magically find another HoF-level talent like Hill, which is at least more likely than landing a HoF-level talent at QB. But I think it's going to put them in the same situation San Francisco has been in with Garoppolo. Also, it's important to note that Tua has put up about ... five games' worth of production, a lot of which is fueled by one quarter against a decimated Ravens secondary and four quarters against the Lions?

Speaking purely as a Bills fan, I'm happy as hell they drafted Tua over Herbert.

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#64 by KnotMe // Nov 05, 2022 - 1:48pm

Tua is good enough that you can't really move on. Or more accurately, your chances of getting someone better are really low. 

Pretty much the point of the article is that it's not all Tua or all Hill/Waddle but rather the combination. I guess you could say Tua is enabling the roster rather than elevating it. And that could very well be good enough. 

 

 

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#68 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 05, 2022 - 8:27pm

their offense against Bill B, McDermott and Harbaugh was #1 but was 28th when he missed those two games despite the best backup in the league with Hill vs the obviously stout Vikings and Jets.

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#17 by charliemarx48 // Nov 04, 2022 - 12:05pm

The Dolphins are no longer the RPO Speedwagon

Best joke of the article 

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#28 by Shattenjager // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:10pm

I stopped reading after that horrific bit of misinformation about cake.

And the last time I ate cake for a non-birthday/wedding was yesterday.

A wise woman once said, "But there's no sense crying/Over every mistake/You just keep on trying/'Til you run out of cake," because failure is okay if you have cake. 

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#69 by StupendousMan // Nov 05, 2022 - 8:48pm

In reply to by Shattenjager

I get that joke, and I appreciate that you made it.

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#29 by Mike B. In Va // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:17pm

The AFC East clearly did not agree that the division should be Buffalo's for the next ten years. In fact, the AFC arms race is just kind of insane when you think about it.
 

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#34 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:33pm

This is the first time in 22 years the AFC East has a second good QB.

\setting aside the Healthy Pennington Heresy

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#30 by SandyRiver // Nov 04, 2022 - 1:23pm

Two-plus centuries ago an entire population was encouraged to "...eat cake."  (Or so the story goes)

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#47 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 04, 2022 - 3:43pm

In reply to by SandyRiver

And they killed her for it.

\maybe because she said it in English?

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#38 by Harris // Nov 04, 2022 - 2:24pm

I've been on FO for at least a decade; possibly since the very beginning. I've seen a lot of opinions that were insane at the time and even worse in hindsight. But I have never seen an opinion as flat out incoherent as "cake is bad." For shame, Mike. Shaaaaaame.

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#48 by MJK // Nov 04, 2022 - 3:48pm

In response to this article I started to research which games Tua had been good in and which he'd struggled in, by DVOA.

I concluded that the Dolphins' Pass DVOA has been between "very good" and "fantastic" in every game Tua has played this year.

But what I found surprising is that is several/most of Tua's games, their overall offensive DVOA is just a little bit above average.  What is goin on is that their run DVOA has been very, very bad this year.

Does this highlight that they're not running enough?  Or is it once again starting to show the same flaw that DVOA had with the Peyton Manning Colts and late 2000's/early 2010's Patriots, where it didn't matter to a team's success that they ran poorly and would get into 3rd and long, because their pass game was good enough that 3rd and long was no big deal?

(For the record... I am *not* claiming that Tua is as good as Peyton Manning or Brady-in-his-prime).

 

Oh, and cake is awesome.  Especially Devils Food Cake...

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#61 by Noahrk // Nov 05, 2022 - 10:15am

When McDaniel arrived, I was worried he would try to force his run-heavy short-pass offense on this team, but he's done a great job adjusting to the talent. Chase Edmonds was a huge disappointment, but with Wilson to complement Mostert I expect they'll start to run more often and effectively now.

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#49 by BlueStarDude // Nov 04, 2022 - 4:26pm

Mike, you crazy. We don't eat cake everyday because we want to live to be 60, not because it ain't delish!

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#50 by BlueStarDude // Nov 04, 2022 - 4:28pm

Cake aside, this one was Tua much for me.

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#52 by DGL // Nov 04, 2022 - 5:08pm

Establishing a #Brand against a dessert.

Who wants to take up arms against chocolate chip cookies?

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#70 by ngio626 // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:26pm

The thing about Tua missing / underthrowing deep is that the drive has to continue because many of those are would be TDs, instead they are 25-35 yard completions. However, if Tua is elite in short-intermediate and red zone (red zone is only short-intermediate naturally) technically he is just picking those yards back up. Sure they have to run a few more plays but at the end of the day you average 30 ppg you still are playing winning football. That is my take and there is a chance this team is undefeated if Tua never gets hurts. That's all "what ifs" but take the eye test. We all know the offense was atrocious without Tua. If it was as simple as just throw the ball far your recivers are open then we wouldn't have lost to the vikings. 

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#71 by ngio626 // Nov 07, 2022 - 4:27pm

The thing about Tua missing / underthrowing deep is that the drive has to continue because many of those are would be TDs, instead they are 25-35 yard completions. However, if Tua is elite in short-intermediate and red zone (red zone is only short-intermediate naturally) technically he is just picking those yards back up. Sure they have to run a few more plays but at the end of the day you average 30 ppg you still are playing winning football. That is my take and there is a chance this team is undefeated if Tua never gets hurts. That's all "what ifs" but take the eye test. We all know the offense was atrocious without Tua. If it was as simple as just throw the ball far your recivers are open then we wouldn't have lost to the vikings. 

Points: 0

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