What came to most of us, said Mike McDaniel, was Tua Tagovailoa’s unexpected performance that wasn’t surprising. even after a Register Return and transient output equivalent only Dan Marino In franchise history, the Miami Dolphins coach said Tagovailoa hadn’t done anything the team didn’t already know the quarterback was capable of.
“No one was like, ‘Stop, dude, where did that come from?'” McDaniel He said.
who – which Refers to Tagoviloa’s six-touchdown, 469-yard performance against the Baltimore Ravens in a 42-38 win on Sunday. Both touchdowns and passing yardage were career highs for the third year of a pro.
It’s good to see you all, but we’re kind of expecting it,” wide receiver Jaylen Waddle said.
Well, but Come on. Tagovailoa has never played like this before, and the fact that he has shown such remarkable improvement in the first two weeks of this season is a good thing. Something for the Miami offense that needed major development from the start of the quarterback. The question now becomes whether a wider audience should share the expectations of dolphins. It might be unfair to expect Tagovailoa to lose 42 points to opponents per week, but can the Dolphins endure this explosive attack long enough to put the team in position among the contenders in the Asian Qualifiers?
First, the reasons for skepticism: Many of Tagoviloa’s best plays against crows came in very different situations. Four of his six touchdowns came in third touchdowns, and two came against broken coverages by Baltimore. Miami scored 28 out of 42 points in the fourth quarter as injuries affected Ravens High School. Baltimore was already without starting player Brandon Stevens, and Marlon Humphrey was limited to 11 shots in just the fourth quarter.
But there is still clear reason to believe that the way Miami’s offense played on Sunday, if not the outrageous stats and magic of the fourth quarter, is repeatable. Besides showing Waddle and Tyreek Hill’s speed, or Tagovailoa’s poise under pressure late in the game, Dolphins’ offense demonstrated that the combination of dynamic individuals, Tagovailoa’s skills as a pass and McDaniel’s machinations can mesh together in a way that works.
It wasn’t clear that entering this season could happen. On a basic level, McDaniel came from an offensive designed by San Francisco-based Kyle Shanahan and has a long history of getting quality production out of quarterbacks without requiring them to raise the bar for the players around them. (In 2021, for example, 49 players had the seventh-best attack by yardage and ranked first in net yards per pass attempt despite the claiming quarterbacks – mainly Jimmy Garoppolo, even though Tre Lance threw 71 passes Also – for attempting only 514 assists, which ranked 29th in the league and, in Garoppolo’s case, tied for 22nd in average goal depth.) Where the quarterback is usually under position is coach Tagovailoa, who played 88 percent of his shots outside shotgun formations in 2021. Tagovailoa was ranked 29th in the NFL in average goal depth last year, and is now required by the Dolphins to throw two of the fastest NFL deep ball threats, Waddle’s 2021 first-round pick and the three-time All-Pro First Team All-Pro team selection. There seems to be a possibility that Miami will end up with some very fancy square pegs and a very nice round hole.
Sunday’s performance against the Ravens was crucial because it showed that all of these pieces could fit comfortably together. Looking at the first two weeks of the Dolphins season, Miami showed no less than three major offensive developments allowing all of the component parts to click.
The first is that Tagoviloa is throwing the ball deeper than ever before. His average depth per goal last year was 7.0 yards, worse than quarterbacks like Davis Mills and Daniel Jones. This year, he tied for 15th among qualified passers-by, averaging 7.8 yards. (If you have Tua throwing farther than Josh Allen in the 2022 NFL bingo card, hats off to you.)
It’s not that the dolphins are totally freeing Tagovailoa, who doesn’t have the arm strength to be an elite deep ball passer. But they don’t wave the white flag and make it dip and dip around the line of scrimmage and they just rely on the playmakers to create after the hunt. The upshot so far is that the dolphins lead the NFL by 338 yards after the catch, but those plays continue until more Yards due to air yards add Tagoviloa in the first place.
The effect is not only that Miami is able to move the ball in pieces, but also that dolphins are able to force defenses to spread out. This may have always happened given the respect the defensive coordinators have for Hill and Waddle’s speed, but Tagovailoa is proving that he will take some deep drops and throw into the mid-range of the field. This challenges opponents to take more ground, and I saw the effect on Sunday, with Hill and Waddle averaging over 3 yards, according to Next Generation stats. Tagoviloa even threw two touchdown passes to Hill, but the receiver had enough room to come back to get it.
One of the main problems for Dolphins last season was the number of times Tagoviloa was tossing in tight windows, which put him top of the league 19.3 percent of the time. So far this year, that number has fallen to 8.4 percent, which is 28th among quarterbacks. (The next generation of stats defines a narrow-window throw as a throw to a receiver less than a playing yard from the nearest defender.) Tagoviloa’s accuracy and ball position when not throwing deep among his strengths as a pass – McDaniel recently said he threw “the most accurate and premium potential ball I’ve seen.” Absolutely” — so the problem wasn’t that he couldn’t make those throws, but that they were going to receivers that didn’t have room to flip and widen the play. That’s been reflected in a big way so far this season. Continuing to push the ball further down the field than they have done in the past has allowed Tagovailoa to take advantage of the playmakers around him and get the ball into situations where they can add yards after a capture. Tagoviloa doesn’t have to turn into a deep ball thrower (and he shouldn’t), but he does have to continue to force opponents to defend enough space so that space opens throw windows at every level of the court.
McDaniel’s ability to use spacing opened up the midfield for Tagovailoa. Look at the difference in the transit heatmap, from TruMedia, from 2021 to its two games in 2022, and you’ll see a much larger glowing red dot between the hashes:
Listed at 6-foot-1, Tagoviloa is on the younger side for the NFL quarterback, and concerns that his size would limit his midfield vision were visibly confirmed in his play last season. He didn’t seem comfortable throwing in between the fills. But when the defense can’t block the short and middle stretches of field, it creates open receivers and wider throw lanes, which Tagoviloa was able to capitalize on, as he did in this 33-yard feat to Waddle on the left hash against the Ravens:
The third significant change to the Dolphins’ offensive under McDaniel is that they have completely eliminated the consistent but not heavy RPO attack that they relied so heavily on last season. They have replaced several RPOs with the gameplay movement, including the gameplay movement from the gun (as you saw in the clip above). This is a major development as it shows what this brand of Shanahan’s crime looks like for Tagovailoa. In Shanahan’s scheme, playing from under the position is a core concept, but Tagovailoa and McDaniel have so far managed it with the quarterback in their gun squads as well.
According to TruMedia, Tagovailoa received 35 drops using play action, 13 of which came in a shotgun. In those plays, Tagovailoa is 10 of 12 for 150 yards (averaging 12.5 yards per attempt) with a touchdown, interception and a passing rating of 111.8. These plays represent Shanahan’s planned marriage, Tagoviloa’s skill set, and favorite style of play, as they operate in Miami. No-play undoes work too: Tagoviloa scored a league-high with a predicted 0.57 point added to that play in week two. It will become more explosive and benefit its employees. So far, they have.
The best news for dolphins is that there should be more fruit on the vine. While the passing offense exceeded expectations, the running game in Miami was not very exciting or dynamic. The Dolphins are currently ranked 25th in the NFL in yards per attempt at 3.7. That’s despite the fact that their offensive streak wasn’t bad, ranking 18th in ESPN’s running block win rate by two games. McDaniel came to Miami after being the game sprint coordinator for one of the league’s most productive lunging offenses, and he has good, fast linebackers Chase Edmunds and Raheem Mostert and fullback Alec Ingold who can help with stoppage missions in the case of the offensive line. conflict. The running game was supposed to be the thing that would boost the dolphins’ attack in the event that the passing game was separated, and if you started running with the offensive line rushing and McDaniel got into a groove as a first-time caller, Miami would give another card to play.
The big question now is whether this sudden explosive attack in Miami will make the dolphins able to compete on Sunday against their number. 1 foe, buffalo bills. Miami lost nine of its past 10 games to Buffalo (including the playoffs), and the Bills beat them 61-11 in two games last season. And the 2022 bills look even stronger, having scored 72 points (and allowed just 17) in two matches (both against 2021 play-off teams). But Miami is undoubtedly stronger offensively too, and should enter this match with confidence in their reformed attack. Miami proves this crime can work, and Tagovailoa can excel at it. If this year’s results continue to show that he’s more than capable of executing McDaniel’s scheme and creating explosive plays with Waddle and Hill, he should finally earn a greater commitment from the organization. Which, as they say, they believed in all the time.