IT’S TUA TIME!
Okay, not for good, but much to the delight of our own John Jastremski among many others, Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finally made his NFL debut on Sunday, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the fourth quarter of Miami’s blowout 24-0 win over the Jets.
Tagovailoa received a thunderous ovation – made even more impressive by the sparse crowd at Hard Rock Stadium – as he came in for his first NFL action after the Jets turned the ball over on downs inside the Miami 10-yard line with 2:27 to go.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft handed off on his first play, a one-yard carry by Matt Breida that brought the game to the two-minute warning. However, just out of the two-minute warning, Tua took a play-action bootleg and fired his first NFL pass, a two-yard completion to running back Patrick Laird.
Tagovailoa made it 2-for-2 on third down, taking the shotgun snap and flinging a bullet out of his left hand into the hands of Jakeem Grant for a seven-yard grab that gave Miami a first down. That ostensibly ended the game – the Jets had all three timeouts left, but why call them – as Tagovailoa handed off twice more to Breida before the final seconds ticked off the clock and the Dolphins recorded their first shutout since 2014.
With the two-minute drill, Tagovailoa became the third of the four quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2020 Draft to see extended snaps – only Jordan Love, taken 26th overall by Green Bay, had yet to take the field – and the fourth 2020 QB overall (second-round pick Jalen Hurts has seen many snaps on offense for the Eagles in various formations, including under center) to get into a game.
And Tua certainly didn't take it for granted.
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