The Dolphins’ week six matchup against the Carolina Panthers will start the Alabama quarterback gauntlet. Tua Tagovailoa will go head-to-head with Bryce Young this week, followed by Jalen Hurts in week seven and Mac Jones in week eight. Tua has a chance to prove he was the best quarterback out of Alabama in recent years.

College Comparison 

During Tua’s time at Alabama, he finished with 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 69.3 completion percentage. Bryce Young finished with 8,356 yards, 80 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 65.8 completion percentage. The two quarterbacks had similar numbers, with the obvious difference coming in passing yards. Bryce Young won the Heisman in 2021, and Tua came in second in Heisman voting in 2018. Tua and Young both have national championship titles, albeit as backups, even though Tua won his after coming in during the second half. Either way, both signal callers were essential to the success of Alabama during their stretches.

Panthers’ Woes 

The Carolina Panthers have had a rough start to the 2023 season. They visit Miami with a record of 0-5, while the Dolphins are currently 4-1 and boasting the top offense in the NFL. One could argue, and as Mike McDaniel stated in a recent interview, “It’s the most dangerous opponent you can play.” McDaniel is correct. Anytime a team comes into a game without winning, they will be willing to scratch and claw to get that victory.

This is not a team that the Dolphins should overlook, and I doubt that they will. Although they have yet to win a game, the Panthers have shown some promise on the offensive side. Veteran receiver Adam Thielen enters week six after an 11-catch, 107-yard, and one-touchdown performance against a stout Lions defense. Young has shown improvement week after week and will look to continue improving against Miami’s defense, which one could say has yet to gel under Vic Fangio. Expect the Panthers to give Miami their best shot as they look to secure their first victory of the season.

Dolphins Ignoring Stats 

After the Miami Dolphins beat the Giants 31-16, it was noted that the current Dolphins offense broke the NFL record for yards in the first five games with 2,568. Naturally, McDaniel was asked about this, and he responded in a way that only McDaniel could; “Mission accomplished.” “We had the whole time; that was our goal – was output after five games,” he continued, finishing with a finger point. Statistics have not been the goal; the players and coaches know that numbers mean nothing if the season does not end with the team lifting the Lombardi trophy. However, as fans, it’s truly a sight to see. For years, the Dolphins’ offense has been bland and often lacking the explosive plays we seem to be spoiled with now. I’m sure as the season presses on, defenses will find ways to slow the Dolphins down, but I’m confident that McDaniel will discover new ways to get the ball to his track stars.

Other Notes 

On a sadder note, rookie standout De’von Achane has been placed on IR, meaning he will miss at least the next four games. The extent of his knee injury is not fully known, but I speak for everyone when wishing the rookie a speedy recovery. On the bright side, it seems like Jeff Wilson is ready to return from his stint on IR, as his 21-day practice window is now open.

Also, Wes Welker has been working with Chase Claypool to help get him up to speed on the offensive scheme. Connor Williams has been dealing with a groin injury, but I believe he will find a way to play this week. If the Dolphins can make it to the week ten bye with a decent record and minimal other injuries, we could look to get back Terron Armstead, Achane, and Jalen Ramsey for the week 11 matchup against the Raiders.

In closing, I expect to see Tua and Bryce Young chatting it up before and after the game. After all, Tua saw his fair share of struggles early on in his career. For someone like Young to see how he kept his head held high and how Tua is performing now could be valuable for the rookie to keep grinding to get to the level he wants. Expect the Alabama alum to coax the best out of each other as they duel it out on a Sunday afternoon in South Florida.