Following two successful road victories to kick off the 2023 season, the Miami Dolphins returned to their home turf at Hard Rock Stadium on a Sunday afternoon, delivering one of the most remarkable offensive showcases in NFL history. They lit up the scoreboard with a commanding 70-20 triumph over the Denver Broncos.
In a historic performance, Miami became the first NFL team since 1950, when the Los Angeles Rams achieved the feat, of reaching the astonishing milestone of 70 points in a single game. The Dolphins amassed a staggering 726 yards of total offense, setting a franchise record and falling just nine yards short of the NFL’s all-time mark, established by the Los Angeles Rams in 1951. Additionally, Miami’s ground game was in top form, chalking up 350 rushing yards, setting a new single-game franchise record.
Running backs De’Von Achane (4 touchdowns, 236 yards) and Raheem Mostert (4 touchdowns, 142 yards) were the dynamic duo responsible for eight touchdowns and 378 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a stellar performance, accumulating an efficient 309 yards and four touchdowns on 23-of-26 passing in slightly over three-quarters of action. He achieved the highest passer rating of his career at 155.8.
The electrifying atmosphere in the stadium, with 65,522 fans in attendance, didn’t have to wait long for the fireworks to begin. Just 83 seconds into the game, Tagovailoa connected with wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who was wide open in the middle of the field. Hill raced past a Broncos defender to score Miami’s first points of the game.
The Dolphins’ defense quickly forced a three-and-out, and Tagovailoa returned to the field. Nine plays later, Achane carried the ball into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown, capping an eight-yard run.
Although Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson managed a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Courtland Sutton, Tagovailoa responded with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive, finishing it off with a remarkable four-yard, no-look pitch to Achane, who snuck into the end zone, extending Miami’s lead to 21-7.
Mostert added to the onslaught with a 20-yard rushing touchdown just before halftime. In the following possession, safety Jevon Holland forced a fumble from Sutton, which linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel returned 29 yards to the Denver three-yard line. Mostert promptly capitalized on this turnover, putting Miami ahead 35-10 with only 1:33 remaining in the first half. Broncos kicker Will Lutz managed to score one more field goal, making it 35-13 at halftime.
Tagovailoa was unstoppable in the first half, completing all 16 of his passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns, and a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
The Dolphins’ defense maintained its dominance into the second half, forcing the Broncos to punt after just four plays. Energized by the defensive effort, Miami’s offense orchestrated their sixth touchdown drive of the day. Once again, Mostert was the star, scoring on a one-yard run on fourth down, extending Miami’s lead to 42-13 with 7:52 left in the third quarter.
Holland continued his impact on the game, forcing his second fumble, which cornerback Kader Kohou recovered. A few minutes later, Mostert found the end zone for the fourth time, this time by catching the ball behind the line of scrimmage, eluding defenders, and walking into the end zone. This marked the second game in his career where he achieved both a rushing and receiving touchdown.
Miami didn’t let up and added three more touchdowns in the final quarter. First, Tagovailoa connected with Achane for a 10-yard pass. Then, backup quarterback Mike White threw a deep pass to Ft. Lauderdale native Robbie Chosen, who sprinted for a 68-yard touchdown, giving Miami a commanding 63-13 lead with 9:28 left in the game.
Wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards, securing the last points of the game for Denver. However, Achane, who broke the club’s rookie rushing record and became the fifth Dolphins player to rush for over 200 yards in a game, wasn’t finished. Two plays into the Dolphins’ next drive, he dashed for a 67-yard touchdown, bringing Miami’s total to a staggering 70 points for the afternoon.
Tyreek Hill led all receivers with nine receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown, extending his scoring streak to three games in the season.
While the spotlight understandably shone on the Dolphins’ explosive offense, the defense also excelled, allowing just one offensive touchdown and forcing three turnovers, two of which set up the Dolphins with excellent field position inside the Broncos’ 10-yard line.
Russell Wilson completed the game with 306 passing yards on 13 possessions, and the Broncos managed only 3.5 yards per carry compared to Miami’s impressive 8.1.
Next up, Miami hits the road again on Sunday, October 1st, to face the Buffalo Bills (2-1) at Highmark Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
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