Football fans are in for a treat on Thursday Night Football in Week 4 as the Miami Dolphins will be traveling to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. It pits two of the rising young quarterbacks in the league against each other as Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow will add another chapter to their rivalry, the first in the NFL.
The two faced off twice in college, with Tagovailoa’s Alabama Crimson Tide getting the best of Burrow and LSU in 2018. In 2019, during their run to the National Title, Burrow returned the favor and led LSU over their rivals.
Burrow was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft while Tagovailoa went No. 5. The two rivals have kept in touch since their collegiate days, messaging each other encouragement when the other was injured. Injuries are what is making this their first matchup in the league, as it would have come in 2020 had Burrow not torn his ACL.
“Yeah, we’ve been around each other,” Burrow said. “He texted me when I got injured and I texted him when he got injured. We’ve stayed in contact since we played against each other last.”
Thursday’s game could be a high-scoring affair, especially for a Thursday Night matchup. The Bengals woke up a little bit in Week 3, avoiding a dreaded 0-3 start by defeating the New York Jets, 27-12.
The Dolphins are entering the game as one of only two undefeated teams remaining after defeating the Buffalo Bills last week. Tagovailoa was able to return to the game after a tough hit from Matt Milano in the second quarter and led his team to another come-from-behind victory, their second of the season.
Tagovailoa has quieted a lot of the doubters that he had coming into the season. Burrow spoke highly of Tagovailoa heading into their matchup this week.
“He’s playing well. It’s exciting to see,” Burrow said. “All the quarterbacks in our draft class have been playing well and that’s always exciting to see. The more talent the better.”
That draft class also includes Justin Herbert, No. 6 overall, and Jalen Hurts, No. 53 overall. Tyler Huntley, who has filled in admirably for Lamar Jackson when he has been sidelined, was an undrafted free agent as well.
All of those quarterbacks have helped their franchise in one way or another. Alas, they are hoping that they can be as successful as Burrow, who helped lead his team to an AFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance in his second season as the team’s starter.