MIAMI Dolphins‘ astounding 70-20 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, rookie running back De’Von Achane found himself dealing with not just a few, but closer to a hundred text messages. It was a staggering number, clarified the third-round pick.
In the most significant role of his career so far, Achane delivered an impressive performance, amassing 233 total yards and scoring four touchdowns, with an astonishing 203 rushing yards on 18 carries. When asked if he had more total yards or notifications on his phone after the game, he responded with a grin, “Oh, notifications for sure,” before hastily exiting the news conference room.
In what turned out to be one of the most one-sided games in NFL history, the Miami Dolphins unleashed their potent offense, accumulating a whopping 726 yards in their home opener. This point total not only set a new franchise record but also marked the highest-scoring game by an NFL team since Washington put up 72 points against the New York Giants in 1966.
Remarkably, the Dolphins gained nearly as many yards on the ground (350) as they did through the air (376), averaging an impressive 10.2 yards per play in the process.
The Miami Dolphins have etched their name in NFL history as the first team to record five passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns in a single game. Additionally, they join the elite ranks of teams with over 700 yards of total offense, a feat last achieved by the Rams in 1951. Notably, they are the first team to amass 70 points while tallying 700 offensive yards, and only the second to achieve the remarkable milestone of 300 rushing yards and 300 passing yards in a game, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel expressed his admiration for the collective effort, stating, “That’s a lot of players executing a lot of things to a standard that’s unrelenting. When you have a lead, so many leads are vulnerable in this league. So we’d talked at length all offseason just about adversity, and sometimes adversity is having a two-score lead, because you can let the atmosphere dictate your product.
So what I saw from a lot of guys … that’s guys really taking it to heart that we have one opportunity with this team in 2023, and we’re going to make the most of it and be unrelenting with our standards. I’ve said it time and time again that it’s an incredibly coachable locker room, and they definitely earned that victory.”
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa showcased his brilliance, completing his first 17 passes and ultimately finishing 23-of-26 for 309 yards and four touchdowns before exiting one play into the fourth quarter. When Tagovailoa left the field, he had only three incompletions, and the Dolphins had experienced just two failed drives.
Amid a day filled with spectacular plays, the NFL’s passing yardage leader authored a highlight of his own during the second quarter. In a display of finesse, Tagovailoa, a left-handed quarterback, executed a no-look shovel pass with his right hand to De’Von Achane, resulting in a 4-yard touchdown.
Tagovailoa reflected on the historic performance, stating, “This doesn’t compare to anything that I’ve seen or been a part of. It just talks about the resilience of our team. Although we were up going into halftime, I’m very proud of the guys and the way they continued to play. No one took their foot off the gas; everyone continued to play, and that’s the result that we got.”
The Miami Dolphins record-breaking day commenced when Tagovailoa connected with Tyreek Hill for a 54-yard touchdown on the third play of the game. Subsequently, they scored on 10 of their first 12 offensive possessions, with an exception for a single play to close out the first half. Facing a fourth-and-14 situation with 33 seconds remaining, Miami Dolphins had an opportunity to break the single-game scoring record as the home crowd chanted for “three more points!” However, Miami Dolphins McDaniel decided to have backup quarterback Mike White kneel the ball from the Broncos’ 28-yard line, eliciting a collective groan from the crowd, but he remained steadfast in his decision.
Coach Mike McDaniel emphasized that breaking records and chasing points weren’t the primary objectives during their historic game. He stated, “It felt like chasing points and chasing a record, that’s not what we came to the game to do. That doesn’t have a bearing on the overall season outcome, and I just didn’t — I saw it as 10 times out of 10 you kneel down in those situations because there was an attainable record that was cool, but the message that I thought it would send wasn’t really in line with how I view things.
It would’ve been cool, but with what we’re trying to do, I think that would be talking out of both sides of my mouth. If we went and tried to send the field goal team on and squeeze an extra three, it’s not really what I’m about.”
McDaniel underlined that his decision had the full support of the Miami Dolphins leaders. Tua Tagovailoa emphasized that respect is a crucial aspect of the NFL, and the Miami Dolphins weren’t looking to “go out and humiliate teams.”
Running back Raheem Mostert had an outstanding game, accumulating 142 total yards and four combined touchdowns. This performance extended his lead as the NFL’s top rusher, with six rushing touchdowns in just three games, already surpassing his 2022 total of three.
Mostert is on pace for an impressive 1,360 yards and 34 touchdowns, which would significantly exceed his previous career highs of 891 yards and eight touchdowns set in 2022 and 2019, respectively. Notably, Mostert and De’Von Achane achieved a historic milestone as the first pair of teammates to each score four touchdowns from scrimmage in the same game.
Despite the absence of wide receiver Jaylen Waddle due to the concussion protocol, Tyreek Hill delivered an exceptional performance with nine catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. Tagovailoa acknowledged that having Waddle presents more challenges for defenses but commended the team’s ability to adapt and excel in different facets of the game.
Defensively, the Miami Dolphins allowed 363 yards and 6.2 yards per play but managed to pressure quarterback Russell Wilson 20 times, resulting in three turnovers and one sack. They also limited the Broncos to just three third-down conversions out of 12 attempts.
Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Broncos, completed 23 of 38 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. This marked his third 300-yard passing game since joining the Broncos. Wilson emphasized that the team needed to learn from the game but not dwell on it, focusing on their upcoming matchup against the Chicago Bears.
Miami Dolphins, now holding a 3-0 record for the second consecutive season under Coach McDaniel, faces the Buffalo Bills in Week 4 for a highly anticipated AFC East showdown.
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