FanPost

Holding the lead blues

I'm a 60-year Bama fan, and I followed my favorite all-time Tider, young Mr. Tua Tagovailoa, to the Fins. I think he's a magic man and I've never enjoyed watching any other QB play as much as I enjoy Tua, so I am in with Miami real solid unless and until they get rid of #1.

The reason I start with my bio is because I think I have some interesting info from Tua's time in Tuscaloosa. At Bama, the pattern in blowouts was that Saban would generally let the starters play the first half and the first series of the second half, then pull them. There were a lot of blowouts while Tua was there, so this was a pattern the young man encountered repeatedly. Interestingly, I thought I saw some hints of this practice possibly impacting this season, so I crunched some numbers to check that out.

There were three games this year where the Fins led at the half and guarded a lead the entire second half: against the Patriots, Steelers and Bears. So I looked at the play logs and figured out Tua's stats for the rest of those games AFTER the first possession of the 2nd half; in other words, for the parts of the game where frequently he didn't play in Bama games. Here's what I found:

Pats: 9-14, 84 yards, no TDs, no picks.

Steelers: 4-9, 33 yards, no TDs, no picks.

Bears: 8-15, 100 yards, 1 TD, no picks.

Total: 21-38, 217 yards, 1 TD, no picks. Completion percentage is 55.3%, yards per attempt is 5.7, and his passer rating is 80.7.

Subtract those stats from his total stats and you get Tua's performance when the Fins are NOT sitting on a 2nd-half lead, or to put it differently, in situations where he would still have been in the lineup while he was at Bama.

Take out the sitting-on-a-lead second halves and Tua is 130-178, 1763 yards, 14 TDs and 3 picks. Completion percentage is 73.0%, yards per attempt is 9.9 (!) and his passer rating is 120.8 (!!).

I'm not sure whether to put this on Tua or McDaniel, but I tend to think they both have some responsibility. They both seem to be really nice guys, so my theory/guess is that the missing ingredient is killer instinct.

Whatever the truth of that, I say the solution is for the Dolphins to keep the hammer down and always play like they're behind. They should never get conservative until they have a 17-point lead with under 2 minutes left or a 33-point lead at any time in the 4th quarter.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.