During one of his several media appearances Wednesday in Las Vegas for the annual Super Bowl week festivities, Dan Marino was asked on the Mad Dog Sports Radio if the Dolphins can win a Super Bowl with Tua Tagovailoa.
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) February 7, 2024
Now, your response may depend on whether you’re a member of Tuanon (expect us) or a Tua hater, but no matter what side you stand on, what Uncle Dan says here is the truth. Tua Tagovailoa in 2023 was by far the best quarterback play the Dolphins have seen since Marino retired. As Dan points out as well, Tua has improved each offseason and is now coming off a season in which he arguably had the best statistical season of any quarterback in the league (though I’d give that title to Josh Allen as much as I’d hate to). So why wouldn’t the Dolphins feel confident in Tua’s capabilities going forward?
Of course, everyone who wants the Dolphins to move off of Tua will point to the team’s collapse at the end of the season as all the reason to move off of the quarterback, and while Tua certainly could have played better: blaming the end of the season on Tua is just as lazy as it is ludicrous.
As I said before, Tua certainly could have played better down the stretch, but let’s look at the context before pinning everything on the quarterback. Through Weeks 1 through 13, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were on the field together for 59% of the team’s offensive snaps (even with Waddle missing the game against Denver), but that number dropped to a mere 16% from Week 14 on.
To make things all the worse, the Dolphins’ run game was hobbled as well. With Achane and Mostert both being banged up down the stretch, then the team’s starting left guard and arguably the best center in the AFC being on the injured reserve: the team struggled to get much going on the ground. Of these six key offensive players: 4 were inactive for the must-win game against Buffalo in week 18 as well as for the previous week in Baltimore, where Achane also only played 48% of the team’s snaps.
So to pretend that the Dolphins offense under Mike McDaniel was fully operational and Tua simply crumpled under the pressure is the definition of psychosis. From what I’ve seen, Tua is his biggest critic, and I fully expect him to improve this offseason as he has each one prior, so spare me on any take that insinuates the Dolphins should cast Tua out and restart the Quarterback carousel that we’ve been forced to ride since Marino retired.