MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Everyone knew that at some point this fall, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was going to get his jersey dirty.
But surely the Dolphins wished their quarterback wouldn’t take the kind of punishment he did Sunday in Western New York.
The Buffalo Bills hit Tagovailoa nine times and had four sacks in their 48-20 throttling of Miami.
The only good news to emerge from that game? Tagovailoa was healthy enough to survive the game — which isn’t always the case when he faces the Bills.
The Bills pass rush yesterday ⬇️
🏈 Pressured QB Tua Tagovailoa on 14 of his 40 dropbacks (35.0%). Tagovailoa had a league-low 21.2% pressure rate in Weeks 1-3 (per NFL NGS)
🏈 Recorded 4 sacks and 9 QB hits. Miami entered the game having only allowed 1 sack & 5 QB hits pic.twitter.com/fgpDlOGtNn
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) October 2, 2023
Mike McDaniel on Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
“It’s a credit to what he’s done this offseason,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Monday. “We’ve been able to avoid situations like that where part of that and part of the hits are on the play-caller who is calling more passes than runs.”
“I think probably in hindsight, I abandoned the run game to a degree too soon and put them into situations that they didn’t need to be in,” McDaniel added. “But overall, it was — I guess that’s a blessing in disguise that he did go through a game where he did get a little more contact, and he was able to come out of it strong and ready to get ready for the Giants.”
After suffering two diagnosed concussions last year, Tagovailoa bulked up and took jiu-jitsu lessons this offseason in an attempt to prevent head injuries.
And he benefitted early on from improved offensive line play. The Dolphins led the NFL in pressure rate (21.2%) through the first three weeks of the season.
But the Dolphins took a step back in Week 4 due in no small part to injuries to Terron Armstead and Connor Williams.
Armstead will miss Sunday’s game against the Giants with a knee injury, while Williams (groin) has a chance to play.
Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast
Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Dolphins Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Dolphins Podcast on our NFL YouTube channel.