Much of the Miami Dolphins’ six-game winning streak can be attributed to massive improvements made by the defense, but on offense, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been able to hide the unit’s shortcomings and deliver some of the best professional football in his own right. played an important role in playing. ,
When the Dolphins play at the New Orleans Saints for their first Monday Night football debut of their career, Tagovailoa would like to take his show to primetime.
“It’s great,” Tagovailoa said at a Web conference after Wednesday’s practice in Miami. “I grew up watching primetime football, whether it’s Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night, so being able to be a part of it and being able to play on Monday nights, I think It’s great. Being in the NFL, as it is, has always been a dream of mine.”
Tagovailoa has played a night game before – and it wasn’t even a start. He entered the second half early on for Jacoby Brissette in Thursday night’s win on November 11 against the Baltimore Ravens. Tagovailoa did not start, as he was treating a finger injury on his throwing arm, replacing Brissette when he went down holding his knee. Tagovailoa went 8 for 13 for 158 yards and had a quick touchdown in the second half that night.
“I think his approach should be like any other sport,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “Their preparation, it needs to be as far as the Saints (7-7) and the players on their roster, their plans, how they want to play according to the situation. We know it’s a tough opponent.”
That Saints defense is closing in on defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is in the top 10 in the NFL in defense, rushing defense and third-down defense.
It will also be a hostile atmosphere Monday night at the Caesars Superdome, but Tagovailoa has more experience playing in front of rowdy Louisiana football fans than facing LSU in Alabama. In one of his starts at LSU in college, he was 25 for 42 for 295 yards and a total of three touchdowns. He also lost at home to Joe Burrows and the Tigers the following year.
“It’s tough when we went there to play LSU,” said Tagovailoa, who later in the 2018 season fell to Clemson at the Sugar Bowl for the national championship. “I’ve got to play [Superdome] When we played Clemson. We all know what happened there. It was loud, but it was really 50-50, their side and our side and it was still loud. I’m excited to see what a full stadium will look like.”
This will be the Dolphins’ second road game since their Halloween loss to the Buffalo Bills, which closed a seven-game losing streak before this winning streak. Miami did not handle the noise and communication of crowds away from home well at the time.
Tagovailoa will also have to return from his worst game this season since his return from two injuries, fractures to a finger and an earlier rib that landed him in injured reserve for three weeks. He threw two interceptions in a performance of 16 of 27 in a 31–24 win over the Jets. His quarterback rating of 75.5 was his lowest rating since a loss to the Bills.
“I think you prepare the same way, but you always have to keep those mistakes in mind,” Tagovailoa said. “It is something with which I need to get better in terms of turnover. …that was bad football. Obviously, don’t make the same mistakes and move on from it. ,
Added Flores: “We’ve always wanted to be smart with football, to be precise with football, and no one is harder than themselves on those things and how important that stat is. So, we have to protect it, and He understands it.”
Tagovailoa had to make a lot of tight-window throws against New York because, with Jaylen Waddle out, he didn’t have much separation for the catchers on their routes, although he also opened Albert Wilson from the depths early. Waddle’s return this week should help.
“She’s a threat vertically and just speed-wise,” Tagovailoa said. “He gives us good opportunities for matchups, whether it’s a [line]The backer or their down safety, and if they switch it out, it opens up the other guys on the field. ,
In that debut against the Jets, Tagovailoa showed something that had not been seen much from him when he bowled New York defensive back Michael Carter in a scuffle in the middle. While the play provided a spark for the Dolphins (7-7), Flores indicated on Wednesday that he wants his quarterback to play safe.
“I would prefer that he slide and keep himself out of harm’s way,” he said. “But I’m not the one who is there and I’ll let him know. He has to make a decision there. But he got up and moved on to the next game.”
In 2019, veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick actually led Miami in a hurry. Flores hasn’t particularly had an issue with it, but Tagovailoa is also the second-year quarterback the franchise took in the 2020 draft with the No. 5 pick and has an injury history.