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Tua Tagovailoa: 3 bold predictions for Dolphins QB in season opener vs. Patriots

NFL, Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

With a Miami Dolphins Week 1 game scheduled against the Patriots, one of the main talking points will surely revolve around QB Tua Tagovailoa. Is the third-year quarterback ready to play a full season and fulfill his potential? Or is it going to be another season of what-ifs for Tagovailoa? Ahead of this Dolphins-Patriots game, we’ll be making our Tua Tagovailoa Week 1 bold predictions.

Tua Tagovailoa will be one of the NFL’s most divisive players in 2022. You either really like him or really, well, hate him. Fans from across the league will be checking in on Dolphins’ box scores and highlights to see if they can nitpick his performances. That’s regardless of whether they care about the actual outcome of the game or not.

He can silence a lot of his critics if he has a strong showing against the Patriots in Week 1. Let’s now look at our Tua Tagovailoa Week 1 bold predictions.

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3. Tua Tagovailoa gets sacked twice

The Patriots will try to force Miami to run the ball. To do that, Pats coach Bill Belichick must make Tua Tagovailoa uneasy and compel him to make mistakes.

Blitzing should push the Dolphins to make hasty decisions. Tagovailoa’s accuracy on the run makes getting him out of the pocket a bad idea for New England. New England must keep Tagovailoa in the pocket so that they can collapse the pocket fast against Miami’s inferior offensive line.

If Belichick can force Miami to run the ball, that would be a good matchup for his defense. The only way to accomplish that is to apply consistent pressure. Tagovailoa has a quick read and react game, but he will take two or more sacks in this game if there is no dump-off or emergency route open.

Pressure on Tagovailoa can and should keep the Dolphins offense in 3rd and long situations. Of course, Belichick will do everything in his power to put Miami in that spot. He will rely on defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who were the top two Dolphins in sacks last season.

2. Tua Tagovailoa passes for 300+ yards

Tagovailoa should aim for at least 4,000 yards passing this season. That may sound like an unrealistic goal for someone who fell 1,300 yards short last season. In 2021, he rarely broke 200 yards per game and had among of the lowest statistics of any starting quarterback in the league. If he passes for 300 yards or more in the first game, however, he will be well on his way to meeting the 4,000-yard target.

That can happen in Week 1. Take note that Tagovailoa has yet to lose a game against Belichick and the Patriots. He is, in fact, 3-0 against the AFC East’s former powerhouse. On the flip side, his wins haven’t been pretty, and his stats against New England don’t exactly jump off the page. That may change on Sunday, with a new head coach, a new arsenal of weapons, and a sold-out crowd.

Look for Tagovailoa to eclipse the 300-yard passing mark en route to a big W.

1. Tua Tagovailoa has 2 TDs

Last season, Tagovailoa had a total of 16 touchdown passes and 3 rushing TDs. Against the Patriots, he totaled two passing touchdowns and 1 rushing TD. It’s not unrealistic to expect him to record two TDs in Week 1 against New England.

Remember that Tagovailoa has done pretty well against New England. And again, with a renewed culture and a reloaded offensive arsenal, Tagovailoa has all that he needs to break out big time.

It will be interesting to see if the Patriots are able to put so much pressure on Tagovailoa to force him into mistakes. So far, they haven’t been too successful. They forced just one INT from Tagovailoa in 2021 and sacked him thrice in two games.

Expect Tagovailoa to be at his best in this one, going for at least two TDs as Miami nets an opening win.