Las Vegas Raiders: Ranking every 2023 starting quarterback in the AFC
- 9. Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins)
In his third season, Tua Tagovailoa had the most productive year of his career. Paired with new head coach Mike McDaniel, Tagovailoa, at times, looked like a completely different player than the one who played in his first two seasons.
Willing to take shots down the field to his speedster wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Tagovailoa lead the NFL in yards per completion at 13.7. Of course, run-after-catch factors into that number, and the Dolphins benefited from it greatly, but he still averaged 9.3 air yards per attempt, good for third in the league.
Alas, despite the new found aggressiveness, Tagovailoa is a still a profoundly limited quarterback. Not a weapon outside of structure, things must go perfectly for him to succeed which puts a large amount of pressure on McDaniel.
Furthermore, just because he is attempting more deep balls, his arm is below average and these plays often become more difficult than they have to be for his receivers. His catchable pass rate on deep balls was just 40%, good for 33rd in the NFL.
Even still, last season proved Tagovailoa can lead a successful offense when he is healthy, he even finished ninth in MVP voting. While he certainly seems to be Mike McDaniel's robot sometimes, the Dolphins will be a scary team next season if he can return to the level of play he found early last season.