Mike McDaniel and Tyreek Hill effusively praise Tua Tagovailoa after Week 1 win over Los Angeles Chargers

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Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and wide receiver Tyreek Hill both praised quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after the team’s win on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Tagovailoa led the Dolphins on a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, throwing a score to Hill to give the team a 36-34 lead. That would hold up as the final score.

McDaniel praised Tagovailoa, who finished the day with 28 completions on 45 passing attempts, 466 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Tagovailoa has made great strides since McDaniel took over as the team’s head coach last season. During the 2022 campaign, he threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games during the regular season. The Dolphins had an 8-5 record in the 13 games that he started.

Tagovailoa also led the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt and yards gained per pass completion.

He showed in Week 1 of the 2023 season that he may be able to play even better than he did in 2022.

Tagovailoa found his favorite target, Hill, 11 times in the 15 times that he targeted him on Sunday. Hill finished the game with 215 receiving yards and two scores. He had a 35-yard score in the third quarter before catching the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth.

McDaniel praised both players for their performances on Sunday.

It’s clear that Tagovailoa and Hill have a special chemistry, and Hill is becoming better in Miami’s offense in his second season with the team. McDaniel noted that as a reason for the wideout’s success against the Chargers.

Following the win, Hill gave his quarterback a ton of credit.

“I’ve been saying this since last year,” Hill said. “I’ve been an advocate for him, and he definitely showed it today. Even during halftime, he was able to come in, get guys going a little bit and even on the sideline with me he’s like, ‘Hey Cheetah, let’s get it, baby.’ Big-time moment, big-time players make big-time plays, so he kind of leaned on me a little bit, towards the end. That just means more targets for me though. I kinda enjoy that.”

There’s no doubt that Tagovailoa was looking Hill’s way as much as possible, as he didn’t target any other player more than seven times (Durham Smythe). Even fellow wideout Jaylen Waddle only saw five targets on Sunday.

Hill and Tagovailoa will look to keep their connection going in Week 2 when they take on the New England Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 17.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.