Tua Tagovailoa deserves to be in MVP conversation

Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is now fifth in the MVP betting odds after leading the Dolphins to back-to-back Miami Dolphins victories at Detroit and Chicago.

Video Transcript

VOCH LOMBARDI: What's up, y'all? It's Voch Lombardi. Watch every second of this NFL season when and where you want it, only on DAZN.


Is Tua Tagovailoa a top five quarterback? Now off the rip, that sounds like an interesting little question. Voch, why would you think that Tua Tagovailoa is a top five quarterback?

Well, I think you got to look at what your first top 10 dudes were coming into this season, right? Then you have to consider the idea that guys like Herbert, Stafford, Brady, Rodgers, Kyler, and sometimes Joe Burrow have been looking a little weird this season, right? Compared to what they normally do.

But the one dude that's just kind of standing over the top of them that wasn't really expected to be fantastic this year-- it's actually two guys. It's Jalen Hurts and it is Tua Tagovailoa.

Now, me personally, personally, personally-- don't blame nobody else here at Yahoo right now, right? But just me personally, I don't think that Jalen Hurts is doing some of the things that Tua Tagovailoa is doing on the field.

I think it's a little different. I think they're making things much more easier for Hurts there, and there's going to be some holes in his game. They're probably going to come out over time. This ain't me hating, because I'm a Cowboy fan. We're just talking right now.

But I do think that there is something interesting to the idea of Tua Tagovailoa being up on that par of quarterback, just like Jalen Hurts is playing, right? They've put Hurts in this MVP category, right? But I haven't heard much about Tua.

Now, it could be because Tua missed 2 and 1/2 games here. He missed the Jets, he missed the Vikings, and he missed half of the Bengals game. But I find it interesting that when Tua is not playing, the Miami Dolphins look absolutely terrible, horrific, putrid. But when Tua is playing, the Miami Dolphins look like winners.

So this what I'm going to do, right? I decided to look at some of those numbers, Jalen Hurts. I didn't want to pull numbers from guys like Pat Mahomes or Josh Allen because those dudes are the top best quarterbacks in the league, right? You just can't compare dudes that we're trying to figure out if they're top five versus dudes that are clear top one, top two, right? Can't have the conversation about those guys.

But I do want to talk about Jalen Hurts versus Tua Tagovailoa. Not saying that either one is better. I'm just saying one guy is talked about as a MVP candidate, one dude is just kind of talked about because of his concussion history, right?

You talk about passing yards, right? Tua Tagovailoa with 1980 versus Jalen Hurts' 2042. Touchdowns, Tua's 15 versus Jalen Hurts' 12. Passing that is. We know Jalen Hurts gets busy in the run game. Right now we're just talking.

Passer rating, Tua Tagovailoa's 115.1 versus Jalen Hurts' 107.8. QBR, Tua's 80.2, Hurts' 63.1. And most importantly, not even most importantly, but I just do look at this as a nuanced quarterback number, but sacks, right?

What do sacks mean to me? Sacks isn't necessarily a metric of if your offensive line is bad or not. To me, sacks means if your quarterback is missing reads or holding on to the football and getting sacked.

Now, the Eagles have a really good offensive line. And I have my own gripes about Miami's offensive line, but we'll talk about that much, much later. Jalen Hurts has been sacked 22 times, and Tua Tagovailoa has only been sacked for eight. That just mean Tua, in my opinion, is seeing things better, getting rid of the ball quicker, and making those plays getting the ball out of his hands at a more efficient rate.

Now, all those numbers-- not all of them-- but most of those numbers are leaning towards the Tua side, and Tua missed a couple games because of concussion. I'm not saying that Tua is the best in the league or anything like that, but I do think that we need to look a little bit closer to what he's doing.

What I think is most impressive-- and I promise you I'm not making this should Tua be the MVP kind of conversation. I'm not making this a Tua is better than Jalen Hurts conversation, because Jalen Hurts is doing great things over there with the Eagles, right? We're just talking about what people are noticing.

The two things that I think are interesting here, I haven't really seen Jalen Hurts beat a top tier team yet. Haven't seen him do it. And I think the Eagles had the easiest schedule in the National Football League, so whatever that's worth. We have at least seen Tua Tagovailoa beat division opponents, we've seen him beat the Ravens, and we have seen him beat the Buffalo Bills.

So what does that mean? What does that mean? When we're evaluating quarterbacks, we look at numbers, we look at wins, we look at wins versus good teams. I don't think we're truly going to respect Tua Tagovailoa until he gets to the playoffs and actually win a game in the playoffs. And that's weird because Jalen Hurts, he ain't really done that neither.

But I really think Tua is going to get most of his notoriety when he gets to the postseason and he makes like a solid win there. And I don't even think that's guaranteed neither because his division in particular-- whether it be, I got the Jets here, I got the Bills here-- they're not going to make it very easy for Tua to just kind of shine on those dudes.

But let's just say Tua doesn't get hurt for the rest of the season. Let's just say Tua just doesn't run into any more concussion issues, he learns how to slide, he doesn't lower his shoulder to try to run people over when he's scrambling, right?

Let's just say Tua stays healthy, and he doesn't lose another game for the rest of the season. Where does this rank him? Where does this rank a guy like that? And I know a lot of guys are going to be like, well, Voch, can he do it multiple year? Sure. But there's a lot of dudes that we're going to put on this list that haven't done it multiple years.

Hell, Geno Smith playing like a top 10 quarterback right now. Where do we rank Tua Tagovailoa if he doesn't lose again? Let's say he wins a playoff game. I would love to hear you guys' comments on this one.