Alabama in the Pros

Tua Tagovailoa edges out Mac Jones in Dolphins’ victory over Patriots

Tua Tagovailoa at line of scrimmage for Dolphins in 2020 game versus Broncos
Isaiah J. Downing - USA Today Sports

Tua Tagovailoa grabs the first victory in “Bama on Bama” crime against Mac Jones in the National Football League. 

The second-year quarterback guided Miami to a 17-16 win over New England at Gillette Stadium. Despite an impressive performance from Jones, Tagovailoa led three scoring drives for the Dolphins – including two touchdown drives of 80 and 75 yards. He was accurate with the football and targeted seven different receivers. DeVante Parker totaled 81 yards on four catches, while Jaylen Waddle posted four receptions for 61 yards. He collected his first career score, which was a 3-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa. As the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa completed 16 of 27 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns to one interception. He was responsible for a rushing score to conclude Miami’s first touchdown drive.

RELATED: DeVonta Smith catches his first career NFL touchdown from Jalen Hurts

Nine of his 16 completions went for first downs. During his lone mistake, Tagovailoa was trying to throw the ball out of bounds.

His pass bounced off two Dolphin receivers and landed in the hands of a Patriots’ defensive back for a turnover. He will improve in that area, but the 2017 national champion took care of the ball for the most part. Tagovailoa’s accuracy was on target in throws to Parker and Waddle. Miami did not have Will Fuller and Preston Williams, so its offense should be dynamic when they return.

Many wanted to know if Tagovailoa could make critical throws, protect the ball, and ignite a vertical passing game. The native Hawaiian did all three in a tightly-contested game. He also took a hit from Patriots’ linebacker Matt Judon and got back up. Tagovailoa will be successful in the NFL. He has the right head coach, the Dolphins have playmakers around him, and he will get better.

This was a nice first victory for him. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “watch” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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