American Football

Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa is NFL’s most efficient quarterback and his numbers prove it


Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

Tagovailoa was the NFL’s most efficient passer on throws five yards or further downfield in 2023 according to Warren Sharp.

Once upon a time, there was a narrative in NFL circles that Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did not push the football downfield; that his numbers were inflated due to him being the beneficiary of his wide receivers being able to catch “dink and dunk” passes and take them the distance for touchdowns.

“Well, well, well, how the turntables…”

In a series of social media posts from Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball on Twitter/X) on Friday morning, that narrative was bagged, tagged and buried six feet under.

In fact, according to Sharp, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins actually led all NFL teams in total distance (air yards) for all 2023 touchdown passes with 423.

In related, hilarious news, the New York Jets had a total of 36 air yards on touchdown throws in 2023.

Sharp went on to discuss how frequent and efficient Tagovailoa has been with passes 5 yards or further down the field since 2022. According to Sharp, Tua was fourth in the league in attempts of 5+ yards, while also leading the NFL in EPA (expected points added) per attempt on those same throws. Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers was a close second.

Tua has been the NFL’s most efficient thrower downfield in the NFL & pushes it

both MIA & SF offenses are intelligently designed to gain YAC

but they don’t just dink & dunk all day to get it

In the midst of contract negotiations between Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins, Tua’s camp is undoubtedly pointing to these types of statistics in order to get the best deal for their client — as they should.

While some NFL fans — and frankly, some Dolphins fans — will be triggered by these posts from Warren Sharp, the numbers are the numbers and as Ernie Lindsey once famously said, “Numbers don’t lie, people do.

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