DENVER (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Dolphins are playoff contenders once again after turning to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who will reach a major NFL milestone this weekend.
On Sunday in Denver, the former Alabama star can join Ben Roethlisberger as the only rookie quarterbacks in the last 40 years to win their first four starts.
Miami’s rookie QB is averaging just 172 yards passing in his three starts and has thrown five touchdown passes. Over a full season, that would equate to approximately 2,750 yards and 26 TDs, or about what Patrick Mahomes has already piled up this season.
Yet, here are the numbers that really stand out for the ex-Alabama lefty: zero interceptions, no losses.
“He’s got a really quick release. He’s accurate. Obviously, he’s got the athletic ability,” said Vic Fangio, whose reeling Broncos host Tagovailoa’s surging Dolphins on Sunday. “He can be a scrambler and elusive in the pocket. But I think the biggest thing is that he’s running their offense very, very efficiently.”
Tagovailoa is also one of only two quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to win his first three career starts without throwing an interception. The other was Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz.
“It’s hard to coach accuracy,” Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. “I can’t get a guy more accurate than he is.”
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The Dolphins are 6-3 and are embarking on a three-game stretch in which their opponents have won a combined five games. The Broncos are 3-6 for the fourth consecutive season and are dealing with a rash of injuries, COVID-19 absences and turnovers. They lead the league with 21 giveaways and have thrown a league-high 16 interceptions.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)