Things were looking bleak for the Miami Dolphins at the start of the 2021 season, as the team that won 10 games in 2020 stumbled to a 1-7 start.

Since then, though, the Dolphins won all four of their November matchups to improve to 5-7 and face a pair of struggling teams in the Giants (4-7) and Jets (3-8) in their next two contests. There’s a chance Miami could be back to .500 by the time Christmas comes around.

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A big part of the team’s resurgence has been quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. After struggling in the first quarter of the season and missing four games due to multiple injuries, a bevy of questions arose about his status as the team’s long-term answer at quarterback.

Tagovailoa has responded to the criticism nicely since then, including on Sunday, when the Saint Louis alum and Ewa Beach native completed 27 of his 31 passes for 230 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 33-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Per CBS Sports, he is the fourth quarterback since 1950 to complete over 80 percent of his passes in consecutive games. In Week 11, he was 27-for-33 against the Jets.

Here’s how other players with Hawaii ties performed during Week 12 of the NFL season:


DeForest Buckner, defensive lineman, Indianapolis Colts (Punahou): Buckner had three tackles, one sack and a pass deflection in a 38-31 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ka’imi Fairbairn, kicker, Houston Texans (Punahou): Fairbairn made both of his extra point attempts but missed his lone field goal attempt in a 21-14 loss to the New York Jets.

Breiden Fehoko, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Chargers (Farrington): Fehoko logged two tackles in a 28-13 loss against the Denver Broncos.

Alohi Gilman, safety, Los Angeles Chargers (Kahuku): Gilman was ruled inactive for the second straight game due to a quadriceps injury as the Chargers fell to the Denver Broncos 28-13.

Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker, Houston Texans (Kamehameha): Grugier-Hill had seven tackles (six solo), including a sack and quarterback hurry, in a 21-14 loss to the New York Jets.

Nate Herbig, guard, Philadelphia Eagles (Saint Louis): Herbig saw time as an injury replacement at both center and right guard in a 13-7 loss to the New York Giants and was called for holding twice.

Marcus Kemp, receiver, Kansas City Chiefs (University of Hawaii): The Chiefs had a bye on Week 12 of the NFL season.

Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders (Saint Louis): In a Thanksgiving matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, Mariota ran the ball twice for a total of four yards, including a 3-yard touchdown. The Raiders won 36-33.

Netane Muti, guard, Denver Broncos (Leilehua): In his first game after being activated from the COVID list, Muti saw action at left guard in a 28-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Sammis Reyes, tight end, Washington Football Team (University of Hawaii): Reyes was active on special teams and as a blocking tight end but did not record any statistics in a 17-15 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

Rigoberto Sanchez, punter, Colts (University of Hawaii): Sanchez had three punts for a total of 134 yards in a 38-31 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jahlani Tavai, linebacker, New England Patriots (University of Hawaii): Tavai had a fumble recovery in a 36-13 win over the Tennessee Titans.


Bradlee Anae, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys (Kahuku)

Rico Bussey, receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers (University of Hawaii)

Trayvon Henderson, safety, Cincinnati Bengals (University of Hawaii)

Keith Kirkwood, receiver, Carolina Panthers (University of Hawaii)


Trevor Davis, receiver (University of Hawaii)

Rojesterman Farris, cornerback, (University of Hawaii)

Hercules Mata’afa, defensive tackle (Lahainaluna)

Kamalei Correa, linebacker (Saint Louis)

Leo Koloamatangi, offensive lineman (University of Hawaii) 

Cole McDonald, quarterback, Toronto Argonauts (CFL) (University of Hawaii)

Jordan Ta’amu, quarterback (Pearl City)

Manti Te’o, linebacker (Punahou)

JoJo Ward, receiver (University of Hawaii)


Tyson Alualu, defensive tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers (Saint Louis): Alualu is out indefinitely with a fractured ankle.

Isaac Seumalo, offensive lineman, Philadelphia Eagles (born in Hawaii): Seumalo is out for the season due to foot surgery.

John Ursua, receiver, Seattle Seahawks (University of Hawaii): Ursua is out for the season with a torn ACL.