The time change everyone has been anticipating went down exactly as planned yesterday: The Miami Dolphins introduced quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and "Tua Time" to the country with a solid all-around 28-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
It wasn't always pretty, but all wins count the same. The Dolphins won for the fourth time in their last five games, all while debuting their newest star.
Coming into the game, all of the attention was rightfully focused on the Alabama rookie quarterback, whom the Dolphins took fifth overall in this past year's NFL Draft. Much was made about the timing of Tua's debut, and if it was coming too soon in a season in which he was expected to sit and learn for the majority of the time.
Once the game started, however, it was the Dolphins' defense and special teams that were the story. For the first time in 11 years — literally 11 years to the day — the Dolphins scored a touchdown on offense, special teams, and defense all in the same game.
Tua and the offense were first to get on the board as Tagovailoa threw his first career touchdown pass to DeVante Parker to tie the score 7-7.
Soon after, it was the Dolphins' defense that took its turn occupying the end zone when linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel picked up a fumble and sprinted 78 yards for the score.
Literally a minute of football clock later, the Dolphins were back in the end zone, this time when wide receiver Jakeem Grant took back a Rams punt to the house for a long score.
While Tua's numbers in his first game don't pop off the page — he finished the game 12 of 22 for 93 yards and one touchdown — he definitely looked the part of an NFL quarterback. On multiple occasions, he made throws that reminded Dolphins fans why they were so excited to see him take the field.
Not many people expected Tua to light up one of the best defenses in the NFL in his first game, but he more than held his own managing a game plan the Dolphins obviously put in place to ease him in.
Next week, the Dolphins face the Arizona Cardinals, a solid team led by their own superstar quarterback who wears #1, Kyler Murray. It's likely Tua and the Dolphins will need a much better showing on offense to keep their hot streak live.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.