AFC East: Ranking the QBs — Bills on top; Pats best back-ups

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages
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No. 3: Miami Dolphins

Strength: Talent of Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa has the talent to be a great QB and only needs to stay on the field to prove it. In 2022, Tagovailoa finished second among starting NFL QBs in passer rating and, according to Football Outsiders, ranked 4th among NFL QBs in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement). Football Outsiders explains DYAR as giving “the value of the quarterback’s performance compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then translated into yardage.” In plain English, that means how much better your starting QB is than a "replacement QB" (not that specific team's back-up QB).

Weakness. Health of Tua Tagovailoa. Tua missed five regular season games and one playoff game in 2022 due to concussions. Although the Dolphins management has expressed concerns over Tua’s durability, they still picked up his fifth-year option.

X-Factor: Back-up QBs. Can Mike White or Skylar Thompson step up if Tagovailoa struggles with this health again? White has had some outstanding games in the past but lacks consistency. Thompson struggled in last year’s playoff loss to Buffalo, going 18-45 with 2 interceptions, but it is still early in his career.