First-year passers collide in South Beach on Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers travel to take on the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins are among the league’s biggest surprises this season. Winners of four-straight, they sit at 5-3, squarely in the race for the AFC East title. With rookie Tua Tagovailoa starting the last two weeks, they’ve beaten two teams with winning records.
The Chargers, on the other hand, have struggled this season. They’re 2-6, but it seems they’ve found their future quarterback in Justin Herbert.
Miami looks to stay on track to compete for a playoff spot, while Los Angles hopes to knock off one of the hottest teams in football. The game kicks off on Sunday at 4:05 pm.
Tua taking over Miami
Tagovailoa’s first start was a bit slow, though he earned the win. But in his second on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, he was stellar.
He tossed for 248 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-31 shootout win and was a factor on the ground as well, totaling 35 yards on seven carries. He has a quarterback rating of 103.5 through his three career games, and he’s steadily improving with experience under center.
Tagovailoa said he’s not measuring himself up against Herbert. Though fans around the country may be eager to compare the two this weekend, he’s focused on improving.
Against a Chargers defense that ranks near the middle of the league in both yards and points allowed, Tagovailoa has an opportunity to take another step forward.
Third quarterback selected, first in production
Herbert may have been the last of the three quarterbacks taken in the top 10 in April’s NFL Draft, but he’s been far and away the most productive this season. He has thrown for 2,146 yards on the season for 17 touchdowns and five interceptions, and he’s completing 67.3% of his passes.
He leads the AFC’s top offense and is averaging 306.6 passing yards per game as he states his case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s aided by top offensive talent like receiver Keenan Allen, who already has 651 yards and four touchdowns.
Herbert may have more NFL game experience than his rookie counterpart on the other side, but he said he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from Tagovailoa so far.
He certainly has his work cut out for him if the Chargers are going to end Miami’s four-game win streak. But Los Angeles’ high powered offense presents a unique challenge to the Dolphins. They may need a tougher performance from their defense than last week to pull off a fifth win in a row.