Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 2016. Tua Tagovailoa finished second in the 2018 Heisman voting, and won a National Championship the year before.
Why bring up these college memories now? Because the Miami at Baltimore clash on Sunday looked like one of those college pinball games, not an NFL matchup. First team to 40 gets the win. Defense is frowned upon.
Improbably, it was the visiting Dolphins who stole the decision in Week 2, scoring four touchdowns in the final quarter and recording a 42-38 instant classic victory, overcoming a 21-point deficit. Tagovailoa threw for all six Miami touchdowns, capping a 469-yard passing jamboree. Miami had some effectiveness running the ball early, but when the game got out of hand, it had to junk that part of the playbook. Team Tua traveled by air.
Tagovailoa certainly knows where his bread is buttered. He steered 32 of his 50 pass attempts to his two dynamic receivers, Tyreek Hill (11-190-2, 13 targets) and Jaylen Waddle (11-171-2, 19 targets). I suppose we should also note tight end Mike Gesicki (4-41-1) resurfaced after a lost summer and a quiet opener, but the Dolphins will go as far as Tagovailoa, Hill, and Waddle can take them. Enormous market share, it’s a glorious thing in fantasy football.
Hill and Waddle weren’t inexpensive in draft season, but they still might go down as bargains. Hill was commonly a second-round pick, but he’d land in the first round if we started fresh. Waddle usually slotted in Round 3, but that would bump up a round if we redrafted tomorrow.
Jackson’s game is a mix of throwing and running, and he did both things well Sunday. He’s certainly not the reason Baltimore lost. Jackson completed 21-of-29 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns, and he added a 79-yard touchdown run. The Ravens had 473 yards of total offense, and 437 of those yards were routed through their franchise quarterback. And like Tagovailoa, Jackson knew where to steer the ball — Rashod Bateman (4-108-1) and Mark Andrews (9-104-1) absorbed nearly two-thirds of the targets and were open all afternoon.
Let’s also be blunt about one thing — neither defense coated itself in glory here. The Miami defense didn’t register a sack or a takeaway. Baltimore did pick off two passes and collect one sack, but that’s little consolation win a day where you allow 27 first downs and 547 yards of offense.
If you squint a bit, you'll find some fantasy fallers in this game. Chase Edmonds did fine on six touches (5-33-0, 1-8-0) but Raheem Mostert handled the ball 14 times (79 total yards). He's available in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues if that's of interest, but that could be a messy committee. Baltimore gave some early work to Kenyan Drake (6-8-0) and Mike Davis (5-4-0), predictably getting nowhere. When J.K. Dobbins is ready to go, the Ravens might not have a need for Drake or Davis going forward.
Miami returns home next week for a showdown with Buffalo, one of the signature games on the slate. Baltimore renews its long-standing rivalry with the Patriots, who banged out an efficient win at Pittsburgh on Sunday.