Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t asked to do a lot in his first NFL start, but that was not the case in Arizona on Sunday.
The Cardinals scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take the lead and the Dolphins needed their quarterback to lead them back. Tagovailoa did exactly that. He led a 10-play, 93-yard drive that stretched into the fourth quarter and ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mack Hollins.
Tagovailoa was 6-of-6 for 63 yards on that drive and also ran for a pair of first downs. The second of them was a 17-yard sprint that came one play before the touchdown and was one of many things that impressed center Ted Karras.
“That one scramble where he split those guys was exceptional,” Karras said in his postgame press conference. “I thought we did a good job in pass protection, but I don’t think any moment is too big for Tua. He’s a great leader and a great person and really works his absolute hardest and has gained the respect of everyone in that huddle, and we want to go to battle for him and keep winning games.”
Tagovailoa had a less charitable description of his run — “I felt like I was running in quicksand,” he said after the game — but came up big again later in the fourth. He set up the go-ahead field goal with a pair of completions and converted a sneak on third-and-1 to ensure the Dolphins would run out the clock in a 34-31 win.