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Tua fueled by early-season buzz: City of Miami 'ready for a championship'

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is enjoying the excitement surrounding the Dolphins this season and is ready to finally bring a title banner to the city of Miami.

"It gives all of us on this team a lot of pride," Tagovailoa said Wednesday. "We feel that the city of Miami has been waiting, and they're ready for a championship. You look at the (Miami Heat), the Florida Panthers, all those guys were able to make it to the final dance. And they were able to do special things throughout their seasons. We're trying along that line to follow the lead of those guys."

The Dolphins haven't won the Super Bowl since the 1973 season, and their last AFC title game appearance dates back to the 1992 campaign. The Heat reached the Finals this year for the second time in the last four NBA seasons, and the Panthers also reached the Stanley Cup Final this spring. Both teams ultimately fell short.

With two road wins in as many weeks, the Dolphins head into their home opener versus the Denver Broncos in Week 3 as one of the NFL's hottest teams. Miami's offense has averaged 30 points per game.

"It'll be cool to finally play in front of our hometown crowd," added Tagovailoa, who's passed for a league-high 715 yards and four touchdowns against two interceptions this season. The 25-year-old will aim for a 10th consecutive win as a starter against head coaches who've won a Super Bowl when he battles the Sean Payton-led Broncos.

Miami boasts arguably the NFL's most explosive wide receiver room with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle headlining the depth chart. However, Waddle remains in the concussion protocol, and his status for Sunday is uncertain.

"It doesn't change how I prepare. ... I think the guys in their room, they're ready to step up, " Tagovailoa said of Waddle potentially being out. "Whatever cards you're dealt with, you gotta go out there and play any given Sunday."

Tagovailoa, who has yet to play a full NFL season due to injuries, is 23-13 as a starter since Miami drafted him fifth overall in 2020. He's yet to start a playoff game.

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