Tua making a pass in his first NFL career start vs the Rams

Miami Dolphins Week 8: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Tua’s first game is in the books and it ended with a Dolphins win. There was a lot to like from start to finish with this victory over the Rams. We heard a flurry of takes for two weeks from all of the talking heads on TV. From why to (or not to) start Tua and bench Ryan Fitzpatrick, to what Aaron Donald is going to do to him and everything in between. Pundits usually count the Dolphins out and they had some horrible takes on the situation, and again the team proved them wrong. It was a great win that had my voice gone by the middle of the second quarter. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. So, let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.


The Good

Coach Flores and Coach Boyer made Head Coach Sean McVay, another dubbed offensive genius, look foolish for the better half of the first half. The defense humbled the passing game for most of the day. It’s pretty safe to call this defense great to elite at this point in time.  From Emannuel Ogbah and the pass-rush to Eric Rowe and the defensive backfield, it was fun to watch Goff flounder, getting passes batted down and throwing interceptions. Cooper Kupp, the slot receiver, was the lone bright spot for the Rams. Overall it was a great day defensively.

We had a Jakeem Grant sighting in special teams, flashing the lightning speed he has to score a special teams touchdown. Speaking of special teams, this season from Matt Haack to Jason Sanders, they have played at an elite level. Now with a touchdown return for a score to cap off and show off how great this unit has been through seven games. 

The Bad

I’m not willing to call this a busted effort for the offensive line. However the running game faltered and looked pathetic, and the quarterback play certainly suffered because of it. Look, I know this is Aaron Donald and company, but I would have liked to see more push up front and a few more lanes being opened up.  With the youth at the position, we can only hope that this was a game they could file away and learn from. 

Tua admitted post-game that he could have played better. It wasn’t all on Tua, as the line, running game and Rams defense played a part in the anemic offense. Again, this could be a learning experience and Tua and the Dolphins offense can look to build from this, and get better. The dropped passes did not help either.

The Ugly

I understand the offensive game plan was probably centered around neutralizing Donald and easing Tua into his role as the starter. However, it’s hard to call this a great offensive game plan starting with the team’s incessant desire to call run plays that look to go straight to the heart of the Rams Defense, and often times it didn’t turn out well. It felt like Chan Gailey coddled Tua a bit too much even in the face of a daunting defensive front seven.

The coaches and players would call this a team win and it was exactly that. The team has a huge test next week in Kyler Murray’s Cardinals. They will look much better offensively than the Rams did and we would want to pack more of a punch on offense. However, we witnessed Tua’s first start and first win, and we all have a collective smile on our faces because of it.


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