The NFL playoffs have been something special this season. Wild Card weekend had mixed results, with two nail biters and four very one-sided affairs.
However, the Divisional Round was the best we have ever seen, with all four games seeing a field goal as the clock hits zero to either win a game or send it to overtime. The Buffalo Bills loss against the Kansas City Chiefs is seen as the best game in NFL history.
The Conference Championship games were also excellent, with Evan McPherson’s kick sending the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl. Jimmy Garoppolo’s late interception also secured the Los Angeles Rams a return to the Super Bowl after a three-year absence.
49ers Playoff Run Shows How Miami Can Win With Tua
Miami is 13-8 with Tua as the starter, but it has been very rare that he has been the reason for these wins.
We saw an improvement from Tagovailoa during the Dolphins’ eight-game win streak. His performance in the loss to the Tennessee Titans was worrying. However, he has still won games as Miami found ways to get the W.
With an excellent run game and a dual-threat in Deebo Samuel, this team found ways to score on offense. An excellent defense also allowed San Francisco to win games. This is something that helped them reach the Super Bowl in the 2019 campaign and make the playoffs this season.
This is a model that the new head coach in Miami, whoever that will be, may want to approach. 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel has been linked to the role in Miami and we will see if he gets the job.
Tua is not a finished product, but if the team can fix the offensive line, then that is a start.
Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle can be used in a similar role to Samuel possibly, although he doesn’t have the size Samuel has. He is more than capable of this due to his speed and ability to extend plays from short passes.
Miami’s defense is their best feature and as they have shown in 2020 and 2021. They can go on to torment most teams and win games without the need to rely on offense. Despite this, we also saw the limitations of this system as the 49ers ultimately fell short.
Jimmy G, Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow Show The Dolphins How They Are Miles From Super Bowl Aspirations
It is not just this season where Garoppolo’s limits have cost the team. He had a brilliant 2019 season, but the 49ers failed to record a single point in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 54. They gave up 21 points to the Chiefs, allowing a 20-10 lead to slip by.
He threw for 219 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The most significant talking point from his performance was his overthrown pass to Emmanuel Sanders in the game. Red flags started to appear when he had eight attempted throws in the entire NFC Championship win against the Green Bay Packers.
A good offensive line, group of wide receivers, and defense can win you games and get you far in the postseason. In a modern age where the sport is set up for quarterbacks to flourish, you will find it very hard to be holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy under the confetti if you have an average to poor quarterback.
We also saw some impressive performances from quarterbacks in the AFC during the playoffs. Burrow has led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since the ’80s and has been very impressive in the postseason run.
Joe Burrow has been unmatched in the postseason dating back to his career at LSU 😳
∙ 7-0 record
∙ 363.0 pass ypg
∙ 24 TD
∙ 3 INT
∙ 123.5 pass rtg pic.twitter.com/BqjATT2Hio
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) January 31, 2022
Burrow has played 26 games in two seasons, with 7,299 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. He was sacked nine times during the Divisional Round win over the number one seed Tennessee Titans and yet still managed to rally the team down into field goal range as McPherson kicked them into the Conference Finals.
We also saw Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen play out one of the all-time quarterback duels. They both combined for eight total touchdowns, zero interceptions, and over 800 yards.
397 total yards
447 total yards
4 total TDs
Game of the year. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/QiVpkQinh8
— PFF (@PFF) January 24, 2022
In fact, since the start of the 2020 season, only Tom Brady has thrown for more passing yards than Mahomes (9,579), with Allen fifth on the list (8,951). In addition, only Brady and Aaron Rodgers have thrown for more passing touchdowns than Mahomes (75) and Allen (73).
They have both set a new precedent for quarterbacks. Their ability to use their feet along with a rocket of an arm has seen teams often struggle to stop them.
Tua is 25th on this list, with 23 games played as opposed to the 32 and 33 games that Mahomes and Allen have played. Even Deshaun Watson, who was very publicly seen as a target for Miami, threw for six more touchdowns and 356 more yards despite playing seven fewer games and missing the entire 2021 campaign.
In 2020 and 2021, Tua has thrown for 4,467 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions, but he played nine to ten games less than Mahomes and Allen. Even if his tally were doubled, he would still have worse stats than Mahomes and Allen.
Doubling his games would see him have 46 games played, 8,934 yards, and 54 touchdowns. Mahomes and Allen would still have more yards, as would Brady and Justin Herbert, who was someone picked one spot below Tua.
In fact, Rodgers, Brady, Mahomes, Allen, Herbert, Kirk Cousins, Stafford, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger would all have more passing touchdowns than Tua despite the 46 games being at least ten more games than all of them.
I do not doubt that Tua can win games, but as we saw with Garoppolo, he was very rarely the reason San Francisco won games. Miami will hope that their new head coach and coordinators can help their quarterback get to the same level as his fellow AFC quarterbacks. Otherwise, the franchise will forever be stuck in the shadows of at least four to five teams in the conference.