In his first career start, rookie Tua Tagovailoa went 12 of 22 for 93 yards against the LA Rams. The fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, Tagovailoa had one touchdown, one fumble lost and was sacked once. He averaged only 4.23 yards per attempt and 5.14 adjusted yards per attempt in that first career start with the Miami Dolphins.
But in spite of the numbers I thought Tagovailoa played better than my previous expectations of him and have been more convinced than ever that the top of the 2020 NFL Draft might have actually had three legitimate franchise quarterbacks; something no draft could say since 2004.
Who knows what the future will bring. Consider the fact that as of today, Ryan Tannehill has surpassed both Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck as a current franchise starter. Who could have predicted that during their rookie seasons or even two years ago?
What is most important to the Rams at present would be whether or not their dominant performance of Tagovailoa was more indicative of their quality as a pass defense or his as a quarterback. Even if Tagovailoa is only beginning, both Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow have played well and the watch is on for how these three will perform moving forward.
Tagovailoa’s second start is encouraging both for the Dolphins and LA’s defense.
On Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Tua went 20 of 28 for 248 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and he had seven carries for 35 yards. Even better, the Dolphins overcame an early fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Cardinals and to keep him in a tie with the Rams in the NFC West standings.
On a similar note, Washington quarterback Alex Smith — who made his return to football four weeks ago in backup duty against the Rams — saw action for the second time this season when Football’s Kyle Allen dislocated his ankle on Sunday against the New York Giants. Smith, who went 9 of 17 for 37 yards and six sacks against LA, performed much better in his return to the field and he was named the team’s new starter on Monday.
Smith went 24 of 32 for 325 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and two sacks taken in Washington’ 23-20 loss to the Giants.
Another case to look at would be Nick Foles. The Chicago Bears starter went 28 of 40 for 261 yards, two interceptions, four sacks in the Rams’ Monday night victory at home. In his last two games, Foles has done: 68.8% completions, 607 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, eight sacks.
The LA Rams face their toughest QB test yet when they host Russell Wilson and the Seahawks this coming Sunday. Wilson is coming off of his worse game of the season (four turnovers in a loss to the Bills) and Aaron Donald hopes to keep his bad times rolling, something that he’s become accustomed to doing against Seattle.
The Rams might have their best pass defense during Donald’s tenure with the team. They are also getting back Jordan Fuller and potentially A’Shawn Robinson this week.