Tua Tagovailoa Has Slowly Gotten It Together

Tua Tagovailoa, Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa, Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins / Cliff Hawkins/GettyImages

Don't look now, but Tua Tagovailoa seems to have figured this whole NFL thing out. The Miami Dolphins quarterback is not a perfect or even dominant player at his position yet, but over the last few weeks Tagovailoa has slowly turned his career around and he's currently playing pretty darn well.

The 23-year-old Alabama product has led the Dolphins to three straight wins, and in each his passer rating has been 104.0 or higher. In the last two weeks he's completed 84.4 percent of his passes on a combined 64 attempts, while averaging 7.86 yards per attempt. He's not just dinking and dunking.

On the season, Tagovailoa's passer rating of 94.7 is tied with Patrick Mahomes' and is just a tick lower than draft classmate Justin Herbert's (96.5). His QBR of 57.6 ranks eighth in the NFL.

Obviously we need to see more sustained success out of Tua to declare him a true franchise quarterback, but the trend is encouraging. Since he came off the bench to lead the Dolphins to a 22-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10, Tua has been really good. Miami has won four straight, three of those are directly due to Tagovailoa's improvement. (Jacoby Brissett started against Houston in week 9.)

Injuries have been a huge issue for Tagovailoa early in his career. If he can somehow stay healthy and on the field, the recent data suggests he can do this.

Whether Tagovailoa will be quarterbacking Miami or another team in the future isn't clear. The Dolphins nearly acquired Deshaun Watson at the trade deadline, which would have left Tua without a job. Maybe Miami rethinks its plans to add Watson now. At the very least, this makes Tagovailoa a much more attractive trade chip for other teams.

Regardless of what happens, the last few weeks suggest Tagovailoa can develop into a franchise quarterback.