This just in — Miami Dolphins wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were more productive football players when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was on the field last season!
That statement may be of the “duh” variety for most fans of the Miami Dolphins, however the following stat released by Mike Clay of ESPN via Twitter on Friday does illustrate just how important Tua Tagovailoa’s health is to the success of the team in 2023 and beyond.
Dolphins WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 15 TD catches last season.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 7, 2023
All 15 came from the hand of Tua Tagovailoa.
The duo combined for ZERO during the 6 games Tua was out or left early.
Tua Tagovailoa played extremely well when healthy last season, but his backups — Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson — didn’t enjoy that same success. Miami’s offense revolves around the speed, quickness, shiftiness and ability to get open of their two stud receivers, Hill and Waddle. However, if the quarterback who is in the game is unable to move the ball down the field and make the throws to put points on the board, a team could have five Jerry Rices running routes and it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Tagovailoa has been working diligently this offseason to learn how to protect himself better when he takes the big hits. Hopefully he has also had some conversations with the powers-that-be about getting rid of the ball in a timely manner so that he can “live to play another down.”
Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle may be the flashiest sports cars in the lot, but without Tua Tagovailoa as the dependable motor in those vehicles, the entire Miami Dolphins organization may find themselves standing on the side of the highway next offseason with their thumbs in the air, looking to hitch a ride from a healthier and more reliable quarterback.