Fall 2022

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa tosses 6 TDs in comeback win while rooted in faith

In one of the wilder NFL games you’ll see, the Miami Dolphins overcame a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit Sunday, with the help of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s four fourth-quarter touchdown passes, to clip the Baltimore Ravens, 42-38. It’s the first time since 2011 that an NFL team trailing by at least 21 points in the fourth quarter has won.

The victory moved Miami to 2-0 on the season, the first time the Dolphins have started 2-0 since 2018.

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“We expect that from [Tagovailoa]. We’re confident in him; he’s confident in himself,” said Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle after the game, according to ESPN. Waddle, Tagovailoa’s teammate in college at Alabama, caught two touchdowns on the day. His second was the game-winner with 14 seconds remaining.

Tagovailoa finished the day with 469 yards and six touchdowns (both career-bests), becoming the first Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino to pass for 400 or more yards and five touchdowns in a single game. What’s more, he did it on the road against a Ravens defense that held the Jets to only nine points in Week 1.

“It felt good. We were executing on all cylinders,” Tagovailoa said after the game. “And then there were times when we didn’t execute, and no one panicked. Everyone just came back into the huddle, and we regrouped, and we went back out there and tried to execute whatever play we were given.”

As clutch as Tagovailoa’s play was during Sunday’s comeback, it still might not be the most memorable comeback of the quarterback’s career. As a freshman at Alabama in 2017-18, Tagovailoa entered the national championship game at halftime with the Crimson Tide trailing Georgia, 13-0. He helped engineer a 20-point second half to send the game to overtime, and then sent the state of Alabama into a frenzy with a 41-yard game-winning touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith.

After the game in front of a national TV audience, Tagovailoa made sure to praise God: “First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible.”

Tagovailoa has not shied away from speaking about his faith in Christ ever since he was vaulted into the national spotlight as a 19-year-old, no matter whether he was breaking records and winning awards or coming to terms with a significant hip injury that put his NFL career in question.

In September 2019, Tagovailoa was asked by CBN News about his faith.

“The greatest gift that God could’ve ever given us was His Son,” Tagovailoa said. “It’s not just a matter of hearing what Jesus Christ is. It’s a matter of getting to know who Jesus Christ is — to really understand and really feel the identity of who you are because of things that He’s done. And I’d say you can only find your identity through Him, if you know Him.”

Tagovailoa, first-year head coach Mike McDaniel and the undefeated Dolphins will be tested yet again in Week 3 when they host the Buffalo Bills, predicted by many to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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