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FILM | Dolphins may have lost, but Tua was impressive in week 6 return vs Jaguars

Tua Tagovailoa completed 33/47 passes for 329 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let’s take a look at the Film. #TheFilmDontLie #BetterLateThanNever

NFL: London Games-Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the Miami Dolphins continue to be linked to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in trade rumors, Tua Tagovailoa tediously prepares for the team's Week 7 matchup vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

But before this weekend’s matchup vs. the Falcons, I wanted to take a look at Tagovailoa's impressive return to the gridiron after a three week hiatus. Now, I know, I know. It didn't end the way most fairy tales end. But despite the embarrassing loss and all the questions surrounding the team's current state, I liked what I saw from Tua on Sunday.

He looked accurate.

He was decisive.

And he stood tall in the pocket, delivering one good throw after another.

For example:

Making excuses for Tagovailoa has become a past-time for some. I'm probably guilty of it myself, to be completely honest. However, while I won't sit here and go into details, I will remind everyone that Miami's offensive line is dreadful. The team was without their top two wide receivers, and they couldn't run the football. (I don't know why either.)

I won't even get started on the offensive playcalling.

I was impressed with Tagovailoa's performance in week six. However, the one thing I'm not scared to admit is that the Jaguars don't have the best defense in football. In fact, it's worse than Miami's when you start crunching the numbers.

So, it really is a stalemate when you consider everything Tua had to overcome on offense and divide it by Jacksonville's poor defense. This means we can sit here and break down the Samoan Southpaw's performance without having to say, "Well, if only he had DeVante Parker," for example.

Before I run the tape, here's a look at Tagovailoa's passing chart according to NextGenStats.

Tua Tagovailoa's Week 6 Performance vs. the Jaguars


  • 00:17 Tua shakes off EDGE Josh Allen (thanks, Liam Eichenberg) and makes an impressive throw to Jaylen Waddle. I love how he hangs in the pocket to make this throw, but I have to wonder why there are two wide receivers in the same area.
  • 00:30
  • 00:57 this block by Malcolm Brown is precisely why he's in the game in situations like this. Good job by the offensive line to give Tua time to step up and deliver the throw to Gesicki for the significant gain.
  • 01:10 skipping rocks
  • 01:23 Tagovailoa to Waddle for the first down. #strike.
  • 01:33 I like that Tua made a quick decision to take off with the football when he realized nothing was there and the defense was going to give him some yards. He also learned how to slide, which is very good considering what we've seen in the past.
  • 01:42 Being a lefty allowed Tua to quickly turn this thing around and fire a dart to Waddle for the game's first touchdown. These quick slants are a huge staple of Miami's offense. (Maybe too big of a staple. CHEESE)
  • 01:55 Tagovailoa with the teardrop over the linebackers outstretched arms.
  • 02:33 Quick release
  • 02:40 Myles Gaskin drop. (I don't know what happened to him after being so efficient the previous week.)
  • 02:50 #WilsonGangGang what iz u doing?!?! This was one of the most difficult plays to watch unfold, given how much I've pushed the Albert Wilson propaganda over the last several years.
  • 03:00 You can tell Mike Gesicki is starting to realize he's an elite playmaker because he's complaining after every ball thrown his way is missed. I'm not complaining, I've long wanted that type of playmaker in Miami. Now please, pay the man.
  • 03:18 Cethan Carter sighting.
  • 03:28 I like the way Tua eludes pressure and takes off here, but as I suggested on the podcast, he could've easily got this first down. Instead, he throws a ball hopelessly into the dirt. (Still don't know why Waddle stopped running, but it is what it is.)
  • 03:52 4th and 2, Jags are playing the sticks. This allows Mack Hollins to get single coverage on the outside. He fights through the defensive back, and Tua puts the ball on target. (Mike Gesicki looked like he was held, but there was nowhere underneath for Tagovailoa to go.)
  • 04:08 It Looks like Tua expects Gaskin to keep running (probably would've been a kill shot), but the playcalling in the redzone remains terrible. This play
  • 04:20 Austin Jackson woof.
  • 04:27 I think this one was closer than it may have first appeared but idk.
  • 04:44 The anticipation here from Tua to throw that ball a good five yards before Mack Hollins makes his break is impressive. Nice job by Mack to get to the sidelines.
  • 05:06 Tagovailoa to Gesicki sets Jason Sanders up for the 58-yard field goal. No Good.


  • 05:23 Again, Tua doesn't mess around and sees an opening to make a play with his legs. And once again, he does an excellent job of sliding.
  • 05:43 Miami's offensive line does a solid job of giving Tagovailoa time in the pocket, and most importantly, the room to step up and deliver this strike to Waddle for the first down.
  • 06:02 Mack Hollins hand extended, but I think this would've been better off being a non-call. Nice throw by Tua.
  • 06:25 "F**k it, Waddle is down there somewhere?!?!"
  • 06:35 I really don't have any words for this interception.
  • 07:00 Watching Tagovailoa move around in the pocket is fun. Another nice throw to Gesicki off playaction.
  • 07:11 good execution and a well-designed RPO by Miami's offensive coaching staff.
  • 07:38 I love the placement of this throw. Tua puts the ball where only Smythe can get it.
  • 07:46 Waddle, touchdown #2. Miami's playcalling may not seem the most creative at times, but the two touchdowns to Waddle were well drawn up, and the execution was chef's kiss
  • Playcalling at the end of the game was questionable, and I would've preferred to see Tua get a chance to make a play with the game on the line.

In the end, I did all of this despite trade rumors heating up and knowing that this performance was against one of the league's worst defenses.

Nevertheless, given the circumstances and supporting cast around him, Tagovailoa played a very good game on Sunday.

Now, all that matters is that he continues to build on this performance while doing only one thing differently.


What were your thoughts on Tua Tagovailoa's performance? Would you trade for Deshaun Watson before the deadline? What are your hoping to see from Tua this Sunday vs. the Atlanta Falcons? Let us know in the comments section below!

(P.S. Next time, I will have this much earlier in the week.)