The Miami Dolphins are enjoying an unprecedented seven-game winning streak and are firmly in the playoff hunt with second-year pro Tua Tagovailoa leading the way as their starting quarterback. Yet questions about Tagovailoa’s future with the organization persist, and that uncertainty undoubtedly will continue into the offseason.
The best word to describe Miami’s 2021 season is unique.
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The Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to put together seven-game winning and losing streaks in the same season. After beating the New England Patriots in Week 1, Miami lost seven straight as Tagovailloa hit injured reserve and missed three games and most of a fourth with a rib injury.
League sources expected the Dolphins to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson at the Nov. 2 trade deadline, but Miami instead chose to stand pat and pushed any potential deal into the 2022 offseason. The Dolphins haven’t lost since the trade deadline and won their seventh straight game Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.
With the Dolphins’ turnaround and Tagovailoa’s relative success in leading it, one league source doesn’t understand why Miami would part ways with the 2020 fifth overall pick — drafted between budding superstars Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert — this offseason.
“They’ve won seven straight (games),” the source said. “Can’t be all bad.”
Tagovailoa currently ranks 21st among 40 qualified quarterbacks with a 70.1 PFF passing grade and 22nd with a 71.6 overall PFF grade. He has improved both marks from his rookie season, when he split time as a starter with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
|Turnover-worthy play %||4.4%||3.7%|
|Big-time throw %||2.5%||2.3%|
Tagovailoa is PFF’s second-highest graded quarterback on RPOs with a 77.7 passing grade. He’s just 24th with a 66.2 passing grade on non-RPOs, however.
PFF’s Sam Monson believes Tagovailoa deserves another season with the Dolphins, as well.
“Tua's earned an offensive line,” Monson said. “Give the guy a platform to work with and see what he's really capable of. The team's working minor miracles right now just to have a functional offense behind one of the worst offensive lines we've seen in 15-plus years.”