Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa immediately shows off Tyreek Hill connection with 51-yard bomb

Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa immediately shows off Tyreek Hill connection with 51-yard bomb

Tua Tagovailoa must have heard the questions about whether he has the arm strength to utilize Tyreek Hill, because on the first play of Saturday’s preseason game against the Eagles, he attempted to silence the doubters.

Tagovailoa started the Dolphins’ opening drive with a 51-yard bomb to Hill — the throw appeared to travel 57 yards in the air.

MORE: What Tagovailoa needs to keep QB job in Mike McDaniel’s offense

Was it a perfect throw? Certainly not. It was a bit underthrown, in fact, which is why Hill had to stop short and dive. But it was also thrown in a spot where only Hill could make a play on it. And it still gave Miami fans a glimpse of how explosive Hill can make the offense.

“It felt good for them, they put in a lot of work, but it doesn’t matter until you do it in a stadium in front of fans, so I know they were happy to get started the right way,” coach Mike McDaniel said of the play. “It was an awesome read by Tua; that’s not easy. And it was an awesome job by Tyreek tracking that ball, so (I) was happy with that.”

MORE: What McDaniel’s offense means for Tagovailoa, Hill, Jaylen Waddle

That was the highlight of Tagovailoa’s second preseason game and his first with Hill in the offense. Tagovailoa finished with 6-of-7 passing, 121 yards and a touchdown. Hill caught two passes for 64 yards.

The second pass to Hill was off play-action and went for 13 yards.

MORE: Hill says he’ll take Tagovailoa’s accuracy over Mahomes’

Ever since Hill came to Miami from Kansas City, Tagovailoa has been questioned about his ability to take advantage of one of the NFL’s most dynamic deep threats. Tagovailoa ranked 21st out of 37 qualifying quarterbacks with a 81.8 grade on deep passes last season, per Pro Football Focus. He had one touchdown and two picks. He also attempted deep passes only 7.5 percent of the time, second-fewest in the league.

Patrick Mahomes, on the other hand, had a 93.9 grade on deep pass attempts, which ranked eighth-best in the NFL, and he completed more deep passes (36) than Tagovailoa attempted (29).

Tagovailoa will not be expected to produce deep passes at the level to which Hill was accustomed with Mahomes — few could produce at that level — but if it’s part of the arsenal in the manner it was displayed Saturday, then Miami’s offense could be electric.