I want to start this article off by saying I have a lot of love for Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa. He is by far the best quarterback I have ever witnessed in my 24 years as a Dolphins fan.

I attended the Texans @ Dolphins game on November 27th, where MVP chants rang through a Dolphins stadium for the first time in my life. Im proud to admit that I may have led the charge in one or two of those chants. The offensive that was on display in South Florida for the 2022 season, led by Tua, was a masterpiece for a big portion of the campaign.

The Miami Dolphins fan base has clamored for a high-octane and exciting offense for years. We got our first real glimpse of this in week two against the Baltimore Ravens, where Tua Tagovailoa threw for almost 500 yards and six touchdowns. He connected with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle for a combined 22 receptions, 361 yards, and four touchdowns in a shocking comeback win.

The tides seemed to have turned for the Dolphins, showing that this team could do great things offensively. For the first 11 weeks, Tua was playing at an MVP caliber. Tua has the talent and the weapons to take this team to the next level.

Most analysts and fans have concluded that the team’s downfall later in the season was due to the health of Tua, and yes, this played a big part. However, the real problem lies in his ability him rising to the occasion. Winning early in the season is important, but the stretch of the regular season from December through January is where the rubber meets the road, and the s**t hits the fan.

Tua has shown that when the lights shine bright, he can handle the pressure, allowing the 49ers, Chargers, Bills, and Packers to steal the four weeks following the bye before going down with his 3rd concussion of the season, leaving us with an incomplete evaluation of the quarterback for the last two weeks of the regular season and wildcard round. Yet Chris Grier has hitched his wagon to Tua for the next two seasons, picking up the quarterback’s fifth-year option and guaranteeing $23.17 million dollars for the 2024 season.

Will Tua rise to the occasion and lead this team to a deep playoff run in the next two seasons? Will Chris Grier be willing to offer an extension to a quarterback who can’t win late in the season? Will Grier even have a job if the team doesn’t win a playoff game? With the Dolphins season opener only days away, the tension builds.

Tua vs. Herbert, a match-up that will be discussed for the remainder of these two quarterbacks’ careers, will spotlight Tua to overcome the “big moment” and bring peace of mind back into the fan base.