What a mighty day for Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins.
The 24-year-old quarterback put up historic numbers as he helped lead the Dolphins to a 42-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for six touchdowns, completing 36 of his 50 pass attempts for 469 yards. And he grabbed the spotlight away from the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, who also enjoyed a record-breaking afternoon.
ESPN Stats & Info put the Tua Tagovailoa into perspective. He’s the second youngest NFL quarterback since 1950 to throw for at least 450 yards and six scores. The youngest was Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Then for some Dolphins perspective. His six touchdowns tied the team record set by Dolphins greats Bob Griese and Dan Marino. Those are the two best quarterbacks in Miami team history.
Of course, when a quarterback puts up these kinds of numbers, the receivers also enjoy gaudy stat lines. Tyreek Hill caught 11 passes for 190 yards and a pair of scores. Hill, the former Kansas City Chief, caught his first touchdown as a Dolphin on a fantastic read by Tua Tagovailoa. Tua found Hill, aka the Cheetah, on a deep vertical down the middle.
Then there was the Percy Waddle performance. He also caught two touchdowns from Tua Tagovailoa. In all, he pulled in 11 passes for 171 yards. While Hill’s longest reception was 60 yards, Waddle’s was 59. Tua and Waddle used to team up for touchdowns when both starred at Alabama. Now, it’s Dolphin time.
Tagovailoa threw his sixth TD pass to Waddle with 14 seconds to go. The score gave Miami the game winner.
Usually, a game dictates these sorts of monster numbers. Tagovailoa needed to throw 50 times because his Dolphins dug such an extreme hole for themselves. They were down 28-7 at halftime and 35-14 at the end of the third quarter.
A lot of that had to do with a special teams play to open the game. Plus, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson also is a special player. Tua Tagovailoa could boast an impressive stat line. So could Jackson. He threw for 318 yards and three scores. He also rushed for 119 yards. A chunk of that came on a 79-yard scamper off a fake jet sweep.
Overall, Jackson’s 100-yard rushing game was the 11th of his career. That gives him the NFL QB rushing record all to himself. Entering the season, he was tied with Michael Vick. Each had 10 career rushing games of at least 100 yards.
Have a glimpse of the 79-yarder:
Tua Tagovailoa also played a part in the Dolphins’ significant deficit in the first half. After all, he threw two interceptions. He had 150 yards passing, but more than one third of his total came on a 59-yard pass to Waddle.
He sparkled in the fourth quarter. That’s when he threw four of his touchdowns. The drama only added to the post-game celebration.