Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa responded to the critics that say he is only a good player because of star Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill.
“Yeah, sure, I am only good with Tyreek in,” Tagovailoa said sarcastically. “You’re right. That is the only time I am at my best. You’re right. I’m only good when Jaylen’s [Waddle] in.
“I could care less about it. Sure, if Jaylen and those guys are out, I’m only as good as Raheem Mostert allows me to be. Like, if that’s what the narrative needs to be and we’re able to win games and we’re able to go to where we want to go as a team, I am the worst football player, if that’s what you want. I don’t care. I really don’t.
“Whatever it is, whatever you need on your show. Take clips out of what I just said. Do what you need to do. I’m just here to do my job, and my job is to help our team win games.”
It’s great to see Tagovailoa showing his focus on simply winning games, and he did that without Hill in the lineup in Week 15 against the New York Jets.
The Dolphins won that game 30-0, and Tagovailoa played well for Miami, completing 21 of his 24 pass attempts for 224 yards and one touchdown. The team didn’t need Tagovailoa to do much, as the Jets struggled on offense all game.
Hill missed Week 15 with an ankle injury that he suffered in Week 14 against the Tennessee Titans. Miami lost that game, and Tagovailoa didn’t play his best football – throwing for 240 scoreless yards in the loss.
Still, it’s unfair to pin all of Tagovailoa’s success the past two seasons simply on the addition of Hill.
The star receiver certainly makes things easier on the whole offense since he commands so much attention, but Tagovailoa has also taken steps as a player the past two seasons.
Last season, Tagovailoa threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games during the regular season. He also led the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt and yards gained per pass completion.
He’s followed that performance up by leading the NFL in completion percentage (71.0 percent) and passing yards (3,921) so far this season while throwing 25 touchdowns in 14 games.
Hill, who has 1,542 receiving yards and 12 touchdown receptions this season, has been a big part of that, but Tagovailoa is also putting him in positions to be successful.
The Dolphins are the No. 2 seed in the AFC this season, a huge step forward for the team after barely making the wild card last season. Miami has three games left in the regular season against some tough opponents in the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.
If Tagovailoa can continue to play at a high level and beat those teams, hopefully the critics will realize he’s more than just a quarterback being helped by Hill’s greatness.