NASHVILLE — Jaylen waddle, wide receiver for Miami Dolphins was sprinting hard at the seam. He then ran toward the sideline near Amani Hooker, cornerback of Tennessee Titans, and Kristian Fulton. For a 45-yard gain, Quarterback Tua tagovailoa saw him and dropped Waddle the ball.
Waddle had only one reception in the game. He was the sixth-most prolific receiver in the NFL, with six catches total. Except for tight end Mike Gesicki (4 catches, 51 yards), there was no Dolphins pass-catcher who finished with an efficient stat by any measure.
With one game left in the season against New England Patriots (10-6), Sunday (4:25 p.m.) is a crucial match. ET, CBS: Miami (8-8) is getting ready for another offseason with no playoff appearances.
Tagovailoa turned in his worst performance of the season, completing just 18 of 38 passes for 205 yards and an interception with an off-target throw percentage of 21%, per ESPN Stats & Information. He is not able to overcome bad performances, especially if Waddle keeps him in check.
Tagovailoa declared Sunday, “If one person fails to do what they should do, then it pretty much screws over the play.” “Whether it’s me making a certain throw, the running backs running and finding the right lane with the line blocking a certain way, the receivers’ routes. It doesn’t matter how small things are, everything matters. We were just not executing well.”
Tagovailoa’s lowest passer ratings in the Dolphins’ seven game winning streak were recorded in Week 15. However, they were overshadowed somewhat by Waddle’s 10-catch performance and Duke Johnson’s superb performance on the ground during Week 15. Johnson was good Sunday, running for 49 yards in seven carries. Miami fell behind two scores later and abandoned the run.
The Dolphins are currently 1-7 when trailing by multiple scores this season, with their only win against the Jets (4-12 in Week 16). When Tennessee led 10-0 early in the second quarter the Dolphins turned towards Tagovailoa for help to bring them back in.
The offense and he failed to succeed, which is especially disappointing when you consider what was at stake for Tagovailoa and the team.
Miami had control of its destiny going into the game and needed to win its last two games to end a four-season drought in the playoffs. However, the team was mathematically eliminated by Sunday’s end from playoff contention. Tagovailoa had the chance to improve Miami’s offense in a crucial situation, similar to last season’s regular season finale when it needed to beat Buffalo Bills to secure a playoff spot. Tagovailoa’s three interceptions included a pick-six, helped the Dolphins lose that game 56 to 26.
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“The question around Tua is: Can he be in position in a high-level sport to take over as a thrower?” Matt Bowen, an ESPN NFL analyst, said this before Miami’s Week 16 match in New Orleans. “And while we don’t yet know that, that’s something that I want to see. Because the best players can.”
After keeping his future questions at bay for two months, Tagovailoa opened up about it again after the Titans’ loss.
Tagovailoa stated, “I’ve heard it the whole time I’ve lived here, so at end of the day I can control what’s within my control, and that’s being the best version myself for this team.” “We must move on to the next match at this point. We will look at our mistakes, make corrections, and then move on.”
Sunday’s loss hurts more than usual because it was Miami’s first game in over a month against an opponent with a winning record. It also managed only 256 yards of offense.
“The Titans are an excellent team. After the game, Miami coach Brian Flores stated that they had a solid plan and that we didn’t perform well enough in any phase.
However, it is clear that the Dolphins will be focusing their offseason efforts on building a better support network around Tagovailoa. He is currently incapable of elevating an offense all by himself so until that changes, they should build as strong a group around him as possible.
With a strong support cast, one of two things can happen: Tagovailoa will play better or the Dolphins’ will have pieces for whoever replaces him.