Miami Dolphins Need Someone To Save The Season And It's Going To Have To Be Tua

The Miami Dolphins need Tua Tagovailoa to save them now.

They just lost their third consecutive game and second in a row without their starting quarterback, in the form of a 24-10 disappointment against the Minnesota Vikings. And the losses has dropped them from first-place in the AFC East a few weeks ago to tied for last place now.

So coach Mike McDaniel's team needs to somehow stop the bleeding next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Hard Rock Stadium if they wish to stay in the middle of the AFC East race that is seeing a resurgence by the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

The only solace Dolphins fans and the club can take after this rough outing against the Vikings is that Tagovailoa, who suffered a concussion three weeks ago against the Cincinnati Bengals, is expected to return for next Sunday night's game against the Steelers.

And it will be a significant game because the franchise is celebrating its 50-year anniversary of the 1972 Perfect Season by bringing as many surviving members of that fateful team to the game as possible.

So the club that last year spent much of October trying to trade Tagovailoa under then-coach Brian Flores now is hoping Tagovailoa can save the season from sinking under .500.

And it's going to have to happen despite Tagovailoa's injury history that suggests he has trouble staying in the lineup for long periods of time, including this year.

Quite a turn of events for Tagovailoa in one year.

As it's been quite a turn of events for the Dolphins in three weeks.

In that time, the club has seen its offensive line collapse.

Seen its defense, particularly the secondary seem unremarkable.

And seen its backup quarterbacks fall to one injury after another.

Teddy Bridgewater, you'll recall, left the New York Jets game last week after being disqualified by the NFL's concussion protocol. Third-stringer Skylar Thompson took over and earned himself a start Sunday.

Well, Thompson was out of this game before halftime with a thumb injury. Enter Bridgewater and he had a terrible time early in the game.

He was given little time in the pocket, which never stopped because the Dolphins QBs were sacked six times. And he was betrayed by turnovers as receiver Jaylen Waddle had a ball in his hands bound away and intercepted. And then Waddle fumbled in the fourth quarter.

Both turnovers were costly.

After the fumble, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, returning home to South Florida where he was born and played at Central High School, scored on a 53-yard run right through the heart of the Miami defense.

Cook had only nine touches with 8:25 to play -- which is obviously not enough.

But relying on him late helped the Vikings take a 24-10 lead. Miami made it close with a late TD from Bridgewater to tight end Mike Gesicki but it was not enough.

The Dolphins are reeling.

They need Terron Armstead, who has a toe injury that kept him out of the lineup, back on the field. Because backup Greg Little simply isn't very good.

Little gave up two sacks to Vikings linebacker Za'Darius Smith, who had an outstanding game dominating the line of scrimmage.

The team also lost cornerback Nik Needham early on when he was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Needham is a second-stringer on the boundary, playing because Byron Jones has been out since the start of the season while he recovers from an Achilles' injury.

With that kind of injury situation, Kirk Cousin took advantage of the Miami secondary, connecting on 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards with 2 TD passes.

But mostly the Dolphins need someone to settle things at quarterback. That's going to have to be Tua Tagovailoa next Sunday.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero