TNF Preview: Tua Tagovailoa & Joe Burrow Renew Rivalry

by

September 29

The year was 2019, and Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was the Heisman Trophy favorite going into the season. In Baton Rouge, a senior signal caller named Joe Burrow, who didn’t come into the season with much fanfare, was breaking LSU school records weekly.Dolphins @ Bengals Game Information
  • Location: Paycor Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET | TV: Prime Video
As Burrow was putting up eye-popping numbers, his Tigers were moving up the polls from the preseason ranking of No. 6 to No. 2, with an eye towards their showdown with No. 1 Alabama. Just as LSU was closing the gap on Bama, Burrow was gaining on Tua in the Heisman race.
 
We were treated to a thriller as the teams combined for 1,100 yards, including over 800 yards and seven touchdowns through the air, as Burrow’s Tigers upset Tua and the Crimson Tide (-6.5) to vault both the Bayou Bengals and one Joe Burreaux to a National Championship and Heisman Trophy daily double.
 
That game solidified the fact that Burrow was the real deal.
Dolphins @ Bengals Game Odds @ FanDuel
  • Spread: Dolphins +3.5 (-110) | Bengals -3.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Dolphins (+158) | Bengals (-190)
  • Total: OVER 48.5 (-110) | UNDER 48.5 (-110)
Fast forward to 2022, and the momentum from LSU’s win over Alabama in 2019 hasn’t stopped. It was Burrow, who was the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft (remember Tank for Tua?). It’s Burrow who’s won an award (NFL Comeback Player of the Year). It’s Burrow who led the NFL in completion percentage in 2021. It’s Burrow who led his team to the Super Bowl.
 
It’s Burrow, who is debated among the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. Meanwhile, Tagovailoa, the sixth overall pick in the same draft (he did end up in Miami, who were allegedly tanking), was considered a borderline starting quarterback in the league where they play for pay coming into 2022.
Same Game Parlays @ FanDuel
  • Tagovailoa OVER 252.5 Passing Yards, Dolphins +3.5 (+250)
  • Tagovailoa OVER 252.5 PY, Burrow OVER 268.5 PY, OVER 48.5 (+342)
  • Bengals -3.5, Bengals OVER 26.5, Burrow 300+ Yards (+512)
 The surprising upstart this time around? That would be Tagovailoa.
 
It’s Tua’s team that is undefeated. It’s Tua who has thrown for 925 yards through three games (second in the NFL behind Josh Allen) with eight TD passes (third with Patrick Mahomes), a 117.8 rating (second in the NFL behind Lamar Jackson), and 9.2 yards per pass (second in the NFL behind Jalen Hurts).
 
Tonight is Tua’s chance (fingers crossed) to prove that he is, in fact, the real deal. Dealing with back and ankle issues, Tagovailoa is expected to play.
 
Thumbnail photo via Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

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