At halftime, the Dolphins led 28-7 courtesy of four Rams turnovers. Tua barely played in the second quarter because of a defensive score and punt return each for a touchdown. His first-half stats: five-of-11 for 34 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. Here are their in-game thoughts.
Sapolu: Tua got into a little rhythm when they started throwing on first down. It keeps Aaron (Donald) and the D-line guessing a little bit, I thought. Wish he was in a little more but man, the defense and special teams are leading the way. The Dolphins are a dangerous young team. Wow.
Jones: Tua’s first attempted pass was “a welcome to the NFL.” The Dolphins have rallied as a team knowing that this game they need to do more to help the rookie QB … and they have!! I hope they will get Tua some throws in the second half so he can gain some experience. They have moved the pocket and been trying to run the ball to help. If they are going to play him the rest of the year, then they need to call the game as if it is 0-0. Let him throw from the pocket.
Thompson: _What a custom-made first half for Tua! The WHOLE Miami Dolphins team has stepped up to help Tua in his first start. Also, very impressed with the OC’s run/pass play-calling, helping Tua settle down and get into his groove. Most heartening takeaway: It’s so clear how beloved Tua is by his teammates. Just watching everyone’s reaction after his first TD throw, it’s obvious how much they all want him to succeed! _
Sikahema: Loved the native dress for the game: white lava lava and aqua Aloha shirt. The kid has style, panache and confidence. It starts there. A big return and turnovers all helping take pressure off Tua for his first start.
The Dolphins’ 28-17 win over Los Angeles marked their third straight victory and Tua’s first. However, Miami did not score in the second half and its offense was thoroughly dominated. That said, the Dolphins’ defense and Rams’ offensive ineptitude allowed Miami to improve to 4-3. Tagovailoa finished 12-of-22 for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Thompson: Great first start for Tua! Awesome team win. I’m so hopeful because he brings so much not just to the Miami Dolphins but for the NFL and football in general. His humility and unabashed love for Christ, his family and our Samoan culture is good for everyone who watches this game. Everywhere he’s played his teammates love him and, I believe, are attracted to Tua not just because of his talent but, in large part, of the person he is and the type leadership he provides.
Sapolu: Happy with his first win while getting his feet wet. The Dolphins didn’t need him to win it and he didn’t do anything to lose it. In the NFL, that’s a positive to build on.
Jones: I wish they would have played the second half like a preseason game. If they want to win in the playoffs, they need Tua to play like a vet. That game experience, you cannot put a price on it. But a win is a win and not many rookie QBs have won their first start. He made all of us proud!!!!
Sikahema: Tua is learning a hard lesson even those who play at All-American levels at storied Alabama learn: The NFL is the best of the best. Your name and pedigree doesn’t matter here. It wasn’t spectacular but he displayed calm under pressure, his trademark leadership and will to win. It will serve him well as the face of the franchise.