Pray for the defense that faces Tua Tagovailoa after he's thrown an interception.
Tua Tagovailoa has had plenty of good NFL games in his career. The Tua-Haters are a proud people though, so you wouldn't know it if you descended into certain dark corners of Twitter. But he has, even before Sunday's mesmerizing six-TD, 469-yard performance against the Ravens, which resulted in Miami's first win in Baltimore since the Clinton administration. Tua showed us, once again, that he's a good NFL quarterback who has a knack for rising to the occasion.
This is ESPECIALLY true when things are going particularly shitty for him.
Hell hath no fury like Tua Tagovailoa after he's thrown an interception. Seriously. If you're a defense fortunate (unfortunate?) enough to secure an errant pass thrown by Tua, your offense better turn it into six points. 'Cause Tua will be on the sidelines just boiling, plotting his revenge. He's not a tablet-chucker like Tom Brady, but you know he's just sitting there thinking about how fast he's about to ram this fucking ball right down your goddamn throat in a few minutes. Just take a dive the next time Tua steps on the field. Stop delaying the inevitable. Here comes a rage touchdown.
Since the start of last season, his first as the undisputed starter, Tua is 30-46 for 425 yards and five touchdowns in the drive immediately following an interception. He's thrown zero picks and has a passer rating of 135.2 in those drives. He essentially becomes the best quarterback in the history of football when it comes to that specific situation. This strange-but-useful skill showed itself once again in Baltimore.
Tua threw his first of two interceptions on Miami's first drive of the day. He saw a tight window down the field and tried to squeeze it into the hands of Tyreek Hill. Hill couldn't quite come up with the contested catch and the ball was deflected into the hands of Marcus Williams. 50/50 ball. Came up short.
You can probably assume what happened next. After Lamar Jackson fumbled near the goal line, the Dolphins proceeded to go 94 yards in just six plays, culminating in Tua's first touchdown of the day, a short pass to Jaylen Waddle.
Tua's second pick came with the first half winding down. He saw some room between the corner covering Jaylen Waddle and the safety over the top, and tried to loft it between them as Waddle raced down the sidelines. It was an ill-advised and nearly-impossible throw. Just trying to do too much. Marcus Williams again came up with the interception. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense turned this into a touchdown to make it 28-7.
Sadly, the football gods did not allow Tua Tagovailoa to immediately exact his vengeance. Baltimore's drive following his second interception took up most of the remaining time in the first half. The Dolphins would run just one play and let the clock run out on the first half as they ran back to the locker room down by 21.
The Dolphins received the ball to begin the second half. This drive technically doesn't count towards Tua's post-INT-drive statistics, even though it was effectively his first real crack at the defense after his last pick. He promptly drove the 'Phins 75 yards for the score, a 14-yard strike to a leaping Mike Gesicki. I imagine him sitting in silence at his locker during halftime with shades and headphones on like that famous LeBron photo with the 3-1 NBA Finals deficit chyron at the bottom of the screen. Letting his powers build. Seeing himself avenging that second interception.
He did. That's a given.
The Rest is History
Unless you're a deep sea explorer emerging from the ocean's depths for the first time in a week, you know exactly what the fuck happened in the second half of last Sunday's glorious Dolphins game. Tua didn't require another post-INT powerup; two first-half turnovers were all he needed to carry him through the rest of the game. He'd throw four more touchdowns after the one that opened the second half, joining Bob Griese and Dan Marino as the only Dolphins QBs to toss six in one game. He also helped the Dolphins become the first team in 12 years to win a game after being down by 21 or more in the 4th quarter. Teams facing that deficit had lost the last 711 meetings. He also tied the record for the most touchdown passes thrown in the 4th quarter of a single game, with four.
I could give you a hundred more "he also" stats for Tua Tagovailoa, but then this article sways into the realm of pornography for some people (TuAnon rise up!), and I don't want to deal with that headache. There will surely be an abundance of mental gymnastics by football pundits trying to diminish what Tua pulled off yesterday. That's just par for the course when you're talking about the most divisive quarterback in the NFL. For whatever reason.
They're running out of cards, though. Sunday's historic performance showed what Tua is capable of, and guess what? It's a hell of a lot.
'Phins fucking up.