LOS ANGELES — Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned to the field for the first time since Week 17 of last season, when he exited due to a concussion, and quickly quieted those who doubted him with a monster performance in Miami's 36-34 win over the Chargers.
Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's victory, including 215 yards to veteran wideout Tyreek Hill - the second most receiving yards in a Week 1 game during the Super Bowl era.
While it is easy to heap praise on the 25-year-old quarterback and his triumphant return to the field, Locked on Dolphins host Kyle Crabbs wants to make sure credit goes to the men up front who protected Tagovailoa all game long, the offensive line.
"That dude's jersey was pretty darn clean," Crabbs said of Tagovailoa. "10.4 yards per pass, 8.2 yards per play. From a protection standpoint, this was an outstanding performance."
Miami kept Tagovailoa's pocket clean all night long, preventing a Chargers defense that includes Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa from getting a single sack - all without starting left tackle Terron Armstead who did not suit up due to an injury.
The Dolphins weren't flawless, they only went 3/5 in the red zone and the defense had their struggles, but Tagovailoa proved what he is capable of behind an upstart offensive line, and this kind of performance could be a sign of things to come for the young quarterback.
If he can stay healthy, he is more than capable of leading this Miami team into the playoff picture, even in a crowded AFC East.