Tua Tagovailoa rallies Miami Dolphins in fourth quarter to stun Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Tom D'Angelo
Palm Beach Post

BALTIMORE — The Miami Dolphins appeared to be buried several times Sunday at Baltimore but each time the M&T Bank Stadium crowd started celebrating, the Dolphins quieted the noise.

The comeback was complete when Tua Tagovailoa threw his sixth touchdown pass of the day, hitting Jaylen Waddle for a 7-yard touchdown with 14 seconds to play, giving Miami a 42-38 victory.

Baltimore  had taken the lead on Justin Tucker's 51-yard field goal with 2:22 remaining before Tagovailoa led the six-play, 68-yard game winning drive.

The Dolphins dug themselves a 28-7 first half hole and trailed by three touchdowns early in the fourth quarter before Tagolailoa's heroics.

Sep 18, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) greeted by teammates following his game-winning touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins quarterback finished 36 of 50 for 469 yards passing yards. Waddle and Tyreek Hill each caught 11 passes and had two touchdowns. Hill had 190 yards. Waddle 171.

Miami overcame Lamar Jackson throwing for 318 yards and three touchdowns and running for 119 and one touchdown. 

Miami returns home next week with a 1 p.m. game against the AFC East favorites Buffalo Bills.

Here are our five takeaways.

Tua's remarkable turnaround

Tagovailoa needed an entire half to warmup and the transformation was stunning. The Dolphins quarterback played his part in Miami falling behind by three touchdowns in the first half with two interceptions, his first two of the season, among his poorly thrown balls. Tagovailoa was 12 of 20 for 150 yards in the first half, almost half of those yards (59) coming on a pass to Jalen Waddle.

But the third year quarterback was a brilliant in the second half as he was bad in the first half, overcoming that slow start to lead the Dolphins all the way back. Tagovailoa threw for 319 yards and five touchdowns in the second half (four in the fourth quarter), including a 48 and 60 yards to Hill in fourth quarter.

Tagovailoa's two interception occurred in the first half when he tried to force the ball to a tightly covered Hill and was intercepted by Marcus Freeman and then overthrew Waddle, allowing Freeman to record his second pick.

Not only did Tagovailoa improved in the second half but so too did his offensive line, which was shaky in the first half, which was without right tackle Austin Jackson, who played 14 snaps in the opener against the Patriots before injuring his ankle and landing on injured reserve. Greg Little started in his place.

Comeback for the ages

Miami trailed by three touchdowns when it received the ball with late in the third quarter but the fourth quarter was one Dolphins fans will not forget easily.

The Dolphins scored three times in a little less than seven minutes in three Tagovailoa touchdown passes, 2 yards to Kader Kahou and the two bombs to Hill.

Tagovailoa completed his most memorable game by leading the Dolphins down the field in six plays after Baltimore regained the lead and finding Waddle for the game-winning 7-yard scoring pass, his fourth of the fourth quarter.

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Secondary, Xavien Howard have rough start against Lamar Jackson

The Dolphins' Pro Bowl cornerback was not at his best against the Ravens. Howard played off Rashod Bateman on a 75-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter an could not recover. Howard and Javon Holland could not chase down Bateman.

Howard aided the Ravens' third scoring drive with a holding call that was tacked onto a 19-yard scramble by Jackson moving the ball to the 26.

Howard was not alone. In the first half, Jackson completed 11-of-13 passes for 210 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 QB rating, but the tackling was less than stellar, too.

Miami tightened in the second half, allowing one touchdown on a 75-yard keeper by Jackson and Justin Tucker's 51-yard field goal with just more than two minutes to play.

Dolphins start slow

Somehow the game was tied early in the second quarter after Miami had allowed a 103-yard kickoff return, Tagovailoa tossed his first interception of the year on the Dolphins' first possession and Baltimore had close to a 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession. But that lasted all of 10 seconds.

After Jalen Waddle tied the score on a 6-yard TD catch early in the second quarter, Jackson hit Rashod Bateman on a slant and Bateman did the rest, running the final 65 yards untouched to complete the 75-yard scoring play that allowed the Ravens to regain the lead.

The tone was set on the opening kickoff when Demarcus Robinson ran untouched for the score. The only Dolphins with any hope of catching him were kicker Jason Sanders (not really) and Keion Crossen, who could not get the proper angle to Robinson out of bounds. The last kickoff return for touchdwon against the Dolphins was by Buffalo's Micah Hyde who took an on-side kick back 45 yards on Oct. 20, 2019.

Lamar Jackson deserves to be paid

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson refused to talk about his contract situation this week. And while the former Boynton Beach High standout let his play do the talking, it was not enough to overcome his defense being shredded by Tagovailoa in the second half..

Jackson was 21 of 29 for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for threw 119 yards. He finished with a QB rating for 142.6 and had a perfect rating into the second half. His 79-yard keeper right through the gut of the Dolphins defense  pushed Baltimore's lead to 35-14 late in the third quarter.

Jackson is the first player in NFL history with a 75-yard plus TD run and pass in the same game.

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the two sides are at a stalemate ... for now. Jackson is seeking a mega, fully-guaranteed deal. According to ESPN, the Ravens offered Jackson an extension worth $250 million, with $133 million guaranteed at signing, that would have run through the 2027 season.

Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta said the team would continue to working on an extension after the season. Coach John Harbaugh said Jackson is not going anywhere.

Tom D'Angelo is a journalist at the Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at