HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got his first win as an NFL starter on Sunday, taking down the Los Angeles Rams, 28-17.
The Ewa Beach native got his ‘welcome to the NFL’ moment early in the first drive of the game, when Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald took him down, forcing a fumble which led to the Rams taking a quick 7-0 lead.
The following drive, Tagovailoa would get his chance to make up for the early fumble, marching the Fins down the field and getting his first NFL touchdown on a 3-yard pass to DeVante Parker — Tagovailoa would finish the game completing 12 of his 22 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
With the game tied, the Miami defense took the game over, forcing four turnovers — one resulting in a 78-yard scoop and score by linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, putting the Fins up, 14-7.
Miami would extend their lead to 21-7 after Jakeem Grant’s 88-yard punt return for a touchdown with a little over eight minutes left in the first half.
By this time, Tua hadn’t seen the field since the first quarter, but finally returned after a forced fumble recovered by Kyle Van Noy got downed in LA territory, leading to a Myles Gaskin touchdown run to give Miami a commanding lead before the half.
The Rams would kick a 23-yard field goal to cut the deficit down to 28-10 at the end of the first half, but the Rams offense could not seem to get into a rhythm all day, getting smothered by Miami’s defense.
After a punt happy third quarter, Los Angeles tried to mount a comeback in the fourth, after an 11-yard touchdown pass by Jared Goff to Robert Woods — his second of the game.
With about 3 minutes left in the game, the Rams would attempt to cut the Dolphins lead to one-possession, but would come up short after a shanked 48-yard field goal by Kai Forbath.
Tua and the Dolphins offense would run out the clock to get Tagovailoa his first NFL win as a starter and firmly place Miami in second place in the AFC East.
The 4-3 Dolphins hit the road next week for a game in the desert against the Arizona Cardinals, kick off is set for 11:25 Hawaii time, on November 8th.