Could Bryce Young Break Tua Tagovailoa’s Passing Touchdown Record?
Alabama Crimson Tide starting quarterback Bryce Young has thrown for a total of 10 touchdowns over his first three games. Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama quarterback who holds the single-season passing touchdown record, had just eight TDs through his first three games.
The current record Tagovailoa holds is 43 passing touchdowns in the 2018 season, his first full season as the starting quarterback for the reigning champion Crimson Tide. Could Young beat this single-season record in his first season as starting QB? He's on pace, but here are the reasons why he may and why he may not break that record this year.
Why He Could Break the Record:
Young is ahead of Tagovailoa in the passing touchdown column through his first three games. Fans have already gotten a glimpse at just how good Young is in the passing game, as he's already thrown for 811 yards and has completed 68-of-100 passes, one of which was a 94-yard touchdown pass to Jameson Williams. He is averaging just over three touchdowns a game, and if he continues that pace, he will be at 37 by the end of the 2021 regular season. Record-holder Tagovailoa was at exactly that number when regular season play concluded in 2018.
Young is on the perfect path for giving this record a real go. The pace he set only factors in an average of three touchdowns a game, which he could very well surpass multiple times this year against different opponents. Tagovailoa had multiple four touchdown games and a single five-touchdown game in 2018, which is something Young may be expected to do to win down the stretch since this team is much more reliant on the passing game.
He has already faced two ranked opponents in his first three weeks, something Tagovailoa didn't have to do in the season he broke the record. Tagovailoa faced only three ranked opponents that entire 2018 season. The fact that Young is already ahead after playing tougher teams to start the season gives him quite the advantage in the why he may break the record category. It's also possible that if he begins averaging close to four touchdowns a game, he could be even closer to beating the record than one would think before postseason play even begins.
Young's current pace, possible growth as a quarterback as the season continues, and the perseverance he's shown already against the tough teams he's faced show major promise that he can reach the standard Tagovailoa set.
Why He May Not Break the Record:
The most glaring reason Young may not break this record is that it could be very dependent upon how many games the Crimson Tide plays. If the No .1 Tide roll all the way to the national championship through the SEC championship and a playoff game, there is no doubt that Young is capable of breaking Tagovailoa's record.
Tagovailoa played three postseason games and kept adding onto the record he had already broken, which brought his total to 43 TDs. Since the Tide is No.1, there is a great possibility of that happening, but sports can be unpredictable and if the Tide doesn't get to play 15 games, the chances of him breaking the single-season passing TD record look a little slimmer.
Another thing that could hold Young back is the strength of schedule versus the 2018 schedule Tagovailoa faced. As mentioned previously, Tagovailoa only faced three ranked opponents the entire regular season, until they faced a No.4 Georgia, No. 4 Oklahoma, and a No. 2 Clemson in the postseason. Tagovailoa only threw six of his 43 touchdowns in those three games combined.
As of writing this article after week 3, Bama will be facing four more ranked opponents, in addition to the two they've already faced. This could mean closer games and fewer chances for passing touchdowns for Young, hurting his chances at the record.
Young has been exciting to watch despite the challenges he's faced in his first three weeks as leader of the Crimson Tide offense. There is a real possibility he could end up as the single-season passing TD leader at season's end, so keep an eye out and your box scores handy to see how Young fares for the rest of the 2021 season.
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