For the last 3 years, most reasonable Dolphins fans have been sold on Tua Tagvailoa. We saw the potential in his rookie year, and then we saw how held back he was in year 2 of Brian Flores’ system. In year 3, we saw the jump. The offense was a movie when Tua was out there, yet somehow there’s still a national asterisk on his ability. We know the health scares, but there should be zero doubt about what Tua can do when he’s on the field.
There’s a bevy of stats to back that up, including his top 5 PFF passing grade, his QB rating, his QBR, and leading the league in yards per attempt. He completely shattered the misconceptions about his “Nerf gun arm,” as Skip Bayless would say. Still not convinced? Hold, please.
Yesterday we got a gem from one of the most respected analytic football guys around. Warren Sharp posted a top 35 list for “Top QBs passing from the pocket” and lo, and behold Tua Tagovailoa finished a step from the top. Number 2 to Patrick Mahomes. For all the people out there who don’t trust QB rating or QBR, this corroborates those grades. These rankings are based on EPA / per attempt, a minimum of 150 attempts. To brush up on EPA:
“Expected Points Added (EPA) is a measure of success which defines the value of each play by the effect it has on the offense’s likelihood to score. For every play, EPA is attributed equally to both teams, and the metric is fairly reliable in identifying the best teams in football.”
“Additionally, EPA can be aggregated and attributed to individual players. Such ratings are much more reliable in assessing a player’s contribution to the offense than many basic statistics, such as yards-per-attempt, completion percentage, etc.” - Pro Football Focus
Last year’s “why Tua isn’t that good” excuse was that he was carried by his weapons and coaching staff, but his literal grade for “player’s contribution to the offense” per play is number 2 to the Baby Goat. With more lists and grades backing up Tua’s importance, maybe we’ll finally see QB1 get the national respect he deserves.
Let us know in the comments how you feel about the list and what stands out to you.