Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa first NFL start ended in a 28-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Tagovailoa had a rocky start during the game as he was strip-sacked by Rams all-pro Aaron Donald during his pro-drop back situation. The young quarterback faced hits by Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers. However, Tagovailoa was able to bounce back in the game and threw his first NFL touchdown to DeVante Parker. Overall, Tagovailoa ended the game with a touchdown and threw for 93 yards while completing 12 out of 22 passes. However, it was the Miami defense that helped build on and maintain the lead for the win.

The Dolphins defense pressured Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff making four turnovers during the first half of the game. Goff was targeted by the relentless Dolphins defense throughout the game. Goff was sacked twice by the Dolphins and threw two interceptions. Goff lost a total of 15 yards due to being sacked, his second-most this season. Goff was pressured in 21 of his 63 drop back passes, tied his most in a game since facing the Chicago Bears during Week 7. Under duress, Goff only completed 6 of 19 with two interceptions.

One of the turnovers led to a defensive touchdown and an 88-yard touchdown scored by punt returner Jakeem Grant. Andrew Van Ginkel scored a 78-yard touchdown from a fumble that was caused by an Emmanuel Ogbah strip-sack. Myles Gaskin scored a one-yard touchdown that was set up by a Shaq Lawson strip-sack.

This is not the first time the Rams offense and Goff faced Miami head coach Brian Flores. They had previously met when Flores was the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. During that matchup, the Patriots defense under Flores held the Rams to just three points in the game. It was just another game where Flores’s defense was too much for the Rams.

The main takeaways from the match are that the Dolphins defense is capable of holding teams down and able to carry the offense if needed. While for Tagovailoa, it allows him to improve his skills without the pressure of being a star. The defense is able to help him by holding onto leads and scoring. The Dolphins now improve to four wins and three losses as they now have an above .500 winning percent.

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