Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III called for any criticism of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to cease for the next week after Tagovailoa’s outstanding performance on Sunday.
Griffin appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” program on Tuesday morning and said (at the 3:35 mark) to the show’s host, Mike Greenberg, that one particular statistic shows just how effective Tagovailoa has been.
“It’s one thing to have those weapons, it’s another thing to be able to utilize them, and I think Tua showed this week that could do that,” Griffin said. “I got a stat for you. Shefty (Adam Schefter) said this last night on ‘Monday Night Countdown.’ Justin Herbert’s record as a starter, 16-18; Tua’s record as a starter, 15-8. He’s winning games, despite all the organizational fluctuations that have happened, he’s winning football games, and Tua’s proving every doubter out there wrong. I don’t want to hear any Tua hate for the next seven days.”
Tagovailoa led the Dolphins to a stirring road comeback on Sunday, defeating the Baltimore Ravens 42-38 after entering the fourth quarter with the Dolphins trailing 35-14.
In that fourth quarter, Tagovailoa threw four touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Jaylen Waddle with 14 seconds left in the game. For the game, Tagovailoa finished with 469 yards and six touchdown passes.
Griffin referenced Herbert because the Dolphins had the opportunity to select him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Instead, they took Tagovailoa, with Herbert’s first two years fueling criticism that the Dolphins had chosen the wrong signal-caller.
Herbert threw for 9,350 yards and 69 touchdowns during those first two seasons. In contrast, Tagovailoa compiled numbers of 4,467 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Yet, as Griffin noted, Tagovailoa’s leadership has resulted in his team having a better record. Ultimately, one key litmus test for quarterbacks is the ability to simply lead his team to victory.
Best win pct of QBs drafted in 2020
Tua Tagovailoa .652 (15-8)
Jalen Hurts .500 (10-10)
Justin Herbert .471 (16-18)
Joe Burrow .446 (12-14-1) pic.twitter.com/Htwh4p1FZu
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 18, 2022
Griffin has experience when it comes to trying to live up to huge expectations and dealing with criticism of his play. He was the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and led the then-Washington Redskins to a playoff berth in his rookie season.
Tagovailoa entered the league out of the University of Alabama with plenty of questions regarding his own health. That came about because of season-ending hip surgery in 2019 that resulted in the Dolphins exercising great caution in protecting his health.
While Tagovailoa is enjoying the accolades of his outstanding effort, he has no time to spend pondering Griffin’s words.
That’s because the Dolphins have a huge game set for Sunday, when they host the 2-0 Buffalo Bills. Then one week from Thursday, the Dolphins must travel to face the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.