Sunday, July 3, 2022

Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill: Tua Tagovailoa more accurate than Patrick Mahomes despite Chiefs QB having stronger arm

These days, just about everybody has their own podcast. That even includes NFL wide receivers. In the first episode of his new show, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill talked about a whole lot of things, including the trade that sent him from Kansas City to Miami. Perhaps most notably, though, Hill compared and contrasted his two most recent quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa

“Obviously, like I’m gonna go with 15 (Mahomes) as the strongest arm, but as far as accuracy-wise, I’m going with Tua all day,” Hill said on the podcast.

Claiming any quarterback is better than Mahomes at pretty much anything is pretty bold, but thanks to our friends at Pro Football Focus, we can actually put this specific claim from Hill to the test. PFF adjusts completion percentage to account for drops, batted passes, throwaways and plays where the quarterback was hit as he threw the ball, to measure how often the quarterback’s intended passes were thrown accurately. 

Last season, despite Tagovailoa having the edge in completion percentage (67.6 to 66.3), Mahomes had the edge in accurate throw rate (78.3 to 75.3). The same was true the year before, when Mahomes was accurate on 76.7% of his passes compared with Tua’s 74.2%. In fact, Mahomes has been more accurate in each of his four seasons as a starter than Tua was last season, which was his most accurate so far.

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Of course, one might figure that Hill is just gassing up his new quarterback as a way to earn trust and get the ball more often, but at least according to the man himself, thats not the case. 

“I’ve had a chance to see Tua throw the ball, to myself, but … he’s that dude, bro,” Hill said. “Like, what a lot of people don’t know, like, I’m not just sitting just saying this because he’s my quarterback now. … I’m not trying to get more targets right now, but what I’m trying to say is Tua is that deal, bro. … Bro, he has a heck of an arm, bro. He’s accurate. He can throw the deep ball, and he actually goes through his reads, where people are like on Twitter like saying, ‘Oh, he doesn’t go through his reads.’ Man, this dude is that dude.”

I’m not sure people on Twitter are saying Tagovailoa doesn’t go through reads. They mostly say he does not have a strong arm. And through two seasons, he has not thrown deep very often, with only 9% of his throws traveling at least 20 yards downfield. (That’s tied for 48th out of the 61 quarterbacks to throw at least 100 passes during that time.) Perhaps he’ll be willing to let it rip down the field more often now that he has a vertical threat like Hill, but we have not seen him do it so far. 

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