Tua Tagovailoa more accurate than Patrick Mahomes? Tyreek Hill says one thing, numbers might say another
Tyreek Hill is many things — arguably the fastest player in the NFL, an All-Pro wide receiver and the highest-paid receiver in NFL history. He might also be quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s most vocal supporter.
Hill compared the Miami Dolphins quarterback to his former teammate in Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes, during an episode of his podcast “It Needed to Be Said.”
“Obviously, like I’m gonna go with 15 as the strongest arm but as far as accuracy-wise, I’m going with Tua all day,” Hill said.
How much of that is rooted in truth, versus Hill simply supporting his new teammate?
For starters, Mahomes owned the league’s fifth-best QBR last season at 62.2 while Tagovailoa finished with a 49.7 — 18th-best in the NFL. Their completion percentages were comparable, with Tagovailoa’s 67.8% besting Mahomes’ 66.3%.
Tagovailoa did own a completion percentage over expectation of +0.9%, compared to Mahomes’ -2.1%, which lends credence to Hill’s statement that the Dolphins’ quarterback is the more accurate passer.
The third-year quarterback has weathered criticism during his first two professional seasons, mainly surrounding his ability to push the ball downfield. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Tagovailoa was actually the most accurate passer in the NFL last season on attempts of at least 25 air yards, connecting on 50% of his attempts.
At the same time, he attempted the second-fewest of such passes — which he attributed to playcalling, rather than his own capability.
“I have seen some improvements on being able to push the ball down the field once again,” he told Muscle and Fitness magazine. “I honestly think it’s just practice. I wasn’t really able to push the ball down the field last year because we didn’t have plays specifically to push the ball down the field. A lot of plays that were called last year were meant for one person. Either this person is open or the play might be dead.
“It’s a little different now. My second year was different than my rookie year and this year will be different than last year with how we go about doing things. I definitely feel a lot more confident being able to push the ball down the field. It’s going to be exciting.”
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