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Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa calls Dolphins ‘legit contenders’ in competitive AFC

The AFC is loaded heading into the 2023 NFL season, but Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa likes his team’s chances. 

Coming off a season in which the organization made the playoffs for the first time since 2016, the Dolphins enter the season with high expectations after bolstering the defense in the offseason, trading for six-time Pro Bowler Jalen Ramsey

“I think we’re definitely legit contenders,” Tagovailoa told The Palm Beach Post.

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Jalen Ramsey speaks to the media

Jalen Ramsey of the Miami Dolphins speaks to the media after practice at Baptist Health Training Complex June 6, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.  (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

“There’s no doubt with the guys we have on the defensive side of the ball, with the guys we have on the offensive side of the ball. And now with this being the first time as an offense, we get to come back understanding the plays already kind of molded into the offense a little more, I think. I think it can get very, very scary. Pretty dangerous.” 

Much of Miami’s success in 2023 will hinge on the health of Tagovailoa, who missed five starts — including Miami’s playoff game — last season due to multiple head injuries. 

Tua Tagovailoa slings the pill

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) throws during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers Dec. 11, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Despite the injuries, Tagovailoa still managed to have his best year as a pro, throwing for 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. 

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Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who had 119 receptions for 1,710 yards in 2022, spoke in June on how health will play a significant role in Miami having a more consistent year in 2023. 

“Obviously, staying healthy. That’s the biggest thing for all of us, and feel like some injuries derailed us from being exactly where we wanted to be at last year,” Hill said, per a team transcript. “So, just staying healthy, being available for one another and just practicing fundamentals and techniques each and every week and staying accountable.”

Tua and Tyreek against the Bills

Tua Tagovailoa (1) and Tyreek Hill (10) of the Miami Dolphins in action during the first half of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium Sept. 25, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla.  (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

While Miami is one of the better teams in the AFC, the conference and the AFC East, in particular, became more competitive during the offseason. 

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With the addition of Aaron Rodgers, the New York Jets have emerged as possible Super Bowl contenders, while quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson look to continue impressive careers. 

Miami has the sixth-best Super Bowl odds in the AFC, according to Bet MGM.


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