After starting the season 1-7, Hawaii’s Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins are back in the playoff picture.
In his first appearance on Monday Night Football, Tagovailoa led the Dolphins to their seventh straight victory in a 20-3 road win over the New Orleans Saints. With the victory, the 8-7 Dolphins have jumped from the 11th Seed to the 7th Seed in the AFC playoff picture, currently holding the final wild card spot in the conference with just two weeks left in the season.
Tagovailoa completed 19 of his 26 passes as the Saint Louis grad threw for 198 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Tagovailoa’s favorite target on the night was Dolphins wide receiver and former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle who had 10 receptions for 92 yards and a one-yard receiving touchdown.
Since Week 9, the start of the Dolphins seven-game win streak, Tagovailoa has posted a 74% completion percentage, the highest percentage among NFL quarterbacks with a minimum of 150 attempted passes.
Miami is now in control of their playoff fate after the Bills 33-21 victory over the Patriots on Sunday. If the Dolphins win their final two games on the road against the Tennessee Titans and at home against the New England Patriots, the Dolphins will punch their ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Dolphins would also make history as the only team to make the playoffs after losing seven of their first eight games.
Here’s how other players in the NFL with Hawaii ties performed during Week 16 of the NFL season:
DeForest Buckner, defensive lineman, Indianapolis Colts (Punahou): Buckner had two tackles (one solo) in a 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.
Ka’imi Fairbairn, kicker, Houston Texans (Punahou): Fairbairn missed the team’s Week 16 game against the Los Angeles Chargers after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.
Breiden Fehoko, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Chargers (Farrington): Fehoko recorded 5 tackles (two solo) in a 41-29 loss against the Houston Texans.
Alohi Gilman, safety, Los Angeles Chargers (Kahuku): Gilman returned to action for the first time since Week 10 after recovering from a quadriceps injury. The Kahuku grad had 6 solo tackles in a 41-29 loss against the Houston Texans. On Monday, Gilman was placed on the Chargers’ reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Week 17.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker, Houston Texans (Kamehameha): Grugier-Hill missed the team’s Week 16 game against the Los Angeles Chargers as he remains on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
Nate Herbig, guard, Philadelphia Eagles (Saint Louis): Herbig lined up at right guard as the Eagles rushed for 130 yards and tallied 324 yards of total offense in a 34-10 victory over the New York Giants. Herbig and the Eagles offensive line also held the Giants to one sack on Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Marcus Kemp, receiver, Kansas City Chiefs (University of Hawaii): Kemp recorded a special-teams tackle during a kickoff in the fourth quarter as part of the Chiefs’ 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders (Saint Louis): Mariota was placed on the Raiders’ reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday ahead of the team’s 17-13 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Netane Muti, guard, Denver Broncos (Leilehua): Muti played in five total snaps (one offensive, four special teams) in the team’s 17-13 loss against the Las Vegas Raiders. In the second quarter, Muti lined up at the fullback spot and paved the way for a one-yard Javonte Williams rushing touchdown to tie the game before the half.
Sammis Reyes, tight end, Washington Football Team (University of Hawaii): Reyes returned to action in Week 16 after coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list, assisting on one tackle during the team’s 56-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
Rigoberto Sanchez, punter, Colts (University of Hawaii): Sanchez had three punts for a total of 115 yards in a 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Christmas day.
Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Miami Dolphins (Saint Louis): Tagovailoa completed 19 of his 26 passes for 198 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the Dolphins 20-3 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
Jahlani Tavai, linebacker, New England Patriots (University of Hawaii): Tavai recorded a special-teams tackle during a Patriots second quarter punt, holding Bills returner Marquez Stevenson to a 15-yard return during the team’s 33-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
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)
Manti Te’o, linebacker (Punahou)
Jordan Ta’amu, quarterback (Pearl City): Ta’amu was cut by the Washington Football Team ahead of the team’s Week 16 game against the Dallas Cowboys. The former Pearl City quarterback was signed to Washington’s practice squad on December 15 during the team’s COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined starting QB Taylor Heinicke and backup QB Kyle Allen.
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.