The Dolphins take their place atop the record book with a historical victory.
The players, the fans in the stands and even the mascot T.D. was exhausted keeping up with a Dolphins offense that produced a historical day in a 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos.
Here are the three takeaways from the dominant home-opening victory:
1. Offense on a Torrent Pace
There isn’t enough space in this column to list all the Dolphins accomplishments after scoring the most points an NFL game in the modern era. Rolling up 70 points and 726 yards of total offense, Miami set or tied 13 franchise records.
The Miami offense is currently first in, well, just about everything. The 1,651 yards of offense clears second place by 401 yards and the 130 points are 39 more than Buffalo’s 91. At 8.4 yards per play, Miami averages a full 2.4 yards per snap than the second-most efficient offense (Minnesota). The Dolphins are first in passing yards (1,086), passing touchdowns (9), yards per attempt (10.6), passer rating (127.1) and have surrendered a league-low one sack on the season.
The Fins are also first with 565 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. The team’s 6.1 yards per carry is a half-yard better than the second place Cardinals.
The Dolphins have 31 possessions this season that didn’t end in kneel downs. With 17 touchdowns, 54.8 percent of Miami’s possessions end in the end zone. Add in four field goals and the rate at which the Dolphins score points is 67.7 percent, good for an average of 4.19 points per possession. All of these would clear NFL records by a mile if they were to continue for a full season.
Rounding out a complementary, total team win, the Miami defense chipped into the 70-point effort with three takeaways. Jevon Holland forced two fumbles including one picked up by Andrew Van Ginkel and returned to the Broncos three-yard-line. When Raheem Mostert scored on the following play, it was the third-straight game that Miami scored on a one-play drive, thanks to the defense and special teams creating a short field.
2. 10 Spot for the Backfield
The second-leading wide receiver for the Dolphins caught two passes Sunday. Running backs caught 11 balls for 90 yards and three touchdowns while quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continued his statistical assault on the NFL’s leader board. He leads all quarterbacks in yards per attempt (10.1), passer rating (121.9) and total QBR (83.2). He’s second in passing yards and touchdowns with 1,024 and eight.
The scoring started with a 54-yard touchdown strike from Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill, whose 412 receiving yards are the most in franchise history through three games. It was the 19th play of 50+ yards in the career of Hill, more than anybody since Hill entered the league in 2016.
Mike White’s 68-yard strike to Robbie Chosen was the team’s fifth and final touchdown pass of the day as the Dolphins became the first team ever to throw for five scores and rush for five more in the same game.
Rookie running back De’Von Achane produced four of the scores. Raheem Mostert matched the man 10 years his junior with four of his own, while fellow rookie Chris Brooks chipped in with 66 yards on nine attempts. In total, the Miami backs helped the Dolphins become the first team in NFL history with 350 yards on the ground and 350 through the air, and the 350 rushing yards were a team record.
3. Give Some Love To The Offensive Line
When the offense is first in just about every category, something must be going right in the trenches. Left tackle Terron Armstead returned to the lineup and gave the Dolphins another pro bowl resume on this explosive offense.
No quarterback has been hit or sacked less than Tagovailoa, and the Dolphins have the top rushing attack in the NFL. Guards Rob Hunt and Isaiah Wynn are playing as well as anyone at their position, Connor Williams continues to achieve blocks that most centers can only dream of, and Austin Jackson has found a home at his right tackle position.
“I think they’ve done a tremendous job, and Mike (McDaniel) has helped with that, but you can’t discredit the work that they’ve put in this offseason,” Tagovailoa said.
For more analysis, takeaways and breakdowns, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield, available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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