Tua Tagovailoa in 2022 put together one of the greatest seasons ever by a Miami Dolphins quarterback. But given some of the discourse — including Fox Sports host Craig Carton’s ludicrous assertion that Tagovailoa is “the worst deep-ball passer in all of football” — you’d think Tua is lucky to be in the league.
PFN’s Dalton Miller doesn’t go that far. But he also sells Tagovailoa short, leaving him off of the PFN Top 100 list that dropped Thursday morning.
Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa Left Off PFN’s Top 100 List
What’s more, just three Dolphins players made the list — wide receiver Tyreek Hill (ninth), defensive back Jalen Ramsey (29th), and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (95th).
That means — in Miller’s opinion — there are at least 100 players better than tackle Terron Armstead, pass rusher Bradley Chubb, safety Jevon Holland, cornerback Xavien Howard, and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
Those are all fair arguments. The Dolphins are loaded with talent, but those five players didn’t have their best seasons in 2022.
Tagovailoa, meanwhile, did.
He ranked first league-wide in yards per attempt (8.9) and average completion air yards (8.5), second in EPA per play (.24), third in QBR (68.8) and passer rating (105.5), fourth in yard yards to stick (+.7), and eighth in CPOE (1.4).
Tagovailoa’s body of work — albeit in an injury-shortened season — stacked up favorably against every passer in football, including MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes was a worthy No. 1 on Miller’s list. No quibbles there. But what we will quibble with: Leaving Tagovailoa off the list, yet ranking fellow 2020 NFL Draft classmate Justin Herbert 48th.
Herbert and Tagovailoa play completely different styles of football, and while we agree that Herbert’s ceiling is higher, at some point, you are what you are.
And a side-by-side comparison between the two players’ career stats is basically a draw.
Plus, the excuses made for Herbert by Miller — “Herbert’s been hamstrung by a lack of speed on the offensive roster, injuries on the offensive line, and an underwhelming play-caller,” Miller argued — could apply at different points of Tagovailoa’s career as well.
Heck, Tua’s previous head coach, Brian Flores, basically sabotaged his career.
We saw the best of Tua in 2022, and with Hill, Waddle, and Mike McDaniel back for another go-round, there’s no reason to believe we won’t see a reprise in 2023.
“If he does it again, he’ll be on the list,” Miller said.
Time to save some receipts, Dolphins fans.
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.