NFL Tik Tok analyst Theo Ash made a bold prediction about the Miami Dolphins, and it’s going to come as a shock to NFL fans. Ash has the Dolphins going 6-11. I disagree with most of the reasons he gives to support his prediction outside of injuries, and that’s because no one really knows what quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s health will be in 2023, so I can’t dispute that.
I will say that he does have a bit of a track record for being a glass half full with his Dolphins analysis, specifically Tua, but let’s give him a chance. Check out his Tik Tok, and then I’ll unpack it all for you.
Tua the Creator
Theo’s first, and foremost reason he predicts the Dolphins will be the “most disappointing team in the entire league” is Tua Tagovailoa. Most of the video is about him, and he does not believe in Tua which is fine. You don’t need to believe in a QB as much as the fanbase does, but his analysis is way off.
He’s quoted saying “Tua is in the exact same tier as Jimmy Garoppolo”, but he’s a “better creator out of structure,” although he offers “next to nothing as a creator.”
First off, no serious NFL analyst has Tua, and Jimmy G in the same tier. Tua is at least 1, or 2 tiers higher than Jimmy G, depending on the list. Let’s just get that malarkey out of the way. The only comparison is that both get injured. Outside that, nada.
It’s well-documented that Tua is a pocket passer. That’s his bread and butter. He does have underrated wheels that he uses from time to time, and he’s got a bit of shake-and-bake too.
But have you seen Tua Tagovailoa rushing highlights pic.twitter.com/A1ztePVcXZ— ꪻꪗ (@Findryx) May 22, 2023
He’s also top-tier when it comes to maneuvering in the pocket and avoiding pressure. That is one of his best attributes. He’s also had a below-average, to worst in the NFL offensive line all three years of his career. Take time to enjoy one of Tua’s many “off-script” plays.
Tua hits a spin move and finds River Cracraft for the TD pic.twitter.com/QoxSl8qDou— FinCuts (@FinCuts) September 18, 2022
I would like to give Mike McDaniel credit here though because with his schemes, and play calling, Tua did not need to go off script as much in 2022 as he needed to the first two years. Receivers were finally open.
It’s funny because the play Theo has running in the background when says all that nonsense is of Tua evading two different defenders both with open shots on him, powering through the second defender who’s grabbing his facemask, and then throwing the ball away. His point with the play was most likely that he threw the ball away instead of taking off, but Tua didn’t know that two defenders behind him tripped, and fell. I’ll give him Theo credit there because Tua does not have eyes on the back of his head, and didn’t see them fall. That’s on Tua.
Gotta go to the Arm Strength Well
Of course, when people want to criticize Tua they go back to old reliable, arm strength. Theo’s exact comment was “I attribute basically 100% of his prowess as a deep ball thrower to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.”
Yes, Tua does not have a rocket arm. He’s not Josh Allen, and we get it. The fact is you don’t need to have a rocket arm to be good at throwing the deep ball. According to Next Gen Stats, Tua was the second-best deep ball thrower in the NFL behind Geno Smith who just so happens to also not have a quote-on-quote rocket arm. Theo may not know this because he doesn’t watch Dolphins games, and tries to pick put plays that suit his narrative, but you can be a great deep ball passer using timing, and anticipation just as much as having a huge arm.
You also have to take into consideration that Tua is throwing to two of the fastest receivers in the NFL. It is very easy to underthrow them. Even the “Baby Goat” Patrick Mahomes underthrows Tyreek Hill. If YouTube let me, I’d post the many that they have, but we’ll just stick to this one.
Media: “Mahomes would never underthrow Tyreek Hill…”— Regulators Podcast (@RegulatorsPod) August 29, 2022
Spends 30 seconds looking for tape: pic.twitter.com/iTh4h7MqCJ
To put the cherry on top of this argument, look at what Theo tweeted last year... It’s a Pat Mahomes underthrow to Tyreek that he captions “Underrated Mahomes throw”. You can judge for yourself if it was an underrated throw, or an underthrow like he claims with Tua.
Got Figured Out?
Theo goes on to point out that Tua finished the year with 4 straight losses with a nearly 50% completion percentage. That is factually true. What he forgets to mention is context. Tua had 1 really bad game against the LA Chargers, and that skewed that 4 game sample size.
If you take the other 3 games, Tua was well over 58% completion percentage, a 5/2 TD/INT ratio before sustaining a concussion in the first half of the Green Bay Packers game which he was dominating. He ended up throwing 3 uncharacteristic INTs in the second half, but it’s well-documented that he was playing through a concussion that he didn’t self-report. Tua also played well in Buffalo late in the year, in the snow, and had a QB rating of 104.
I can see where you can point to the losing streak, and it being the worst part of Tua’s season but that happens to every team that does not have a Patrick Mahomes. You get figured out. Teams have a bunch of tape and adjust. That’s what happened against the Niners, and Chargers, and Tua still made some big plays in those games including hitting some big-time bombs to Tyreek. The Dolphins and Tua bounced back and played great against Buffalo, but lost at the end. They dominated Green Bay in the first half, and then everything went downhill once Tua got concussed. In my opinion, if that play doesn’t happen, the Dolphins roll over Green Bay and finish the season strong.
Ash downplayed the Jalen Ramsey and Vic Fangio additions, along with speculating that it’ll take time for the defense to adjust to Fangio’s defense even though the defensive players have reported all camp how much they love the system. He does not have high expectations for the Dolphins' defense as a whole and is unimpressed. He then dove into concerns with Tua’s concussion history, but as I said earlier, that’s a given and at this point, that’s just beating a dead horse. Lazy analysis.
After 8 hours of negative feedback from Dolphins fans, and the Twitterverse Theo decided to make another Tik Tok and responded to a few tweets defending his position.
At the end of the day, my opinion is that the original prediction is a byproduct of not watching the tape and cherry-picking lowlights. Not sure why he went with the Dolphins as his hot take prediction outside of knowing bagging on Tua will get you clicks, but the team is widely regarded as a dangerous playoff team, and DraftKings Sportsbook has the Dolphins at O/U 9.5 games.
Let us know in the comments what you think of Theo Ash’s prediction.