Call it a couple of comebacks. Cam Newton has returned to Carolina. More significantly, the Miami Dolphins have won three straight games after a 1-7 start.
Talk about two teams whose seasons have evolved in different directions? The Carolina Panthers won their first three games but have dropped six of their last eight contests and sit at 5-6. The Miami Dolphins won on opening day at New England, lost seven games in a row but are now in the midst of a three-game winning streak.
As the teams meet in South Florida this Sunday, is either capable of making a serious playoff run? And what can be expected this weekend at Hard Rock Stadium?
5. QB Tua Tagovailoa runs for 1 touchdown, throws for 2 others
Second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been effective but hardly spectacular. But when he has been available, he has kept his team in the game and has made very few mistakes. This is a Miami team that ranks 28th in the league in total yards per game. And only the Houston Texans have gained fewer yards per contest on the ground.
Yes, these Dolphins are somewhat limited offensively. The team has yet to score at least 30 points in any game this year. Regardless of who the quarterback has been this season, the Dolphins’ offensive unit has managed to reach the end zone just 21 times in 11 outings.
But Tagovailoa somehow finds a way. Despite missing four games this season, he has thrown for nine touchdowns and runs for three more. And he frustrates the Carolina defense on more than one occasion.