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Dolphins Open The Season With 36-34 Victory Against Chargers


The fact that Tua Tagovailoa had one of the best passing days in an NFL opener may have surprised some observers.

His coach was not at least surprised.

Tagovailoa set a new record for an opening game with his 466 passing yards and three touchdowns. With 1:45 left in the game, he threw a 4-yard pass to Tyreek Hill in the right corner of the end zone to give the Dolphins a permanent lead after two ties and nine lead changes.

Hill got off to a strong start after declaring during training camp that he wanted to be the first receiver to accumulate 2,000 yards in a single season. He caught 11 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, which is the third-highest total in Week 1 in league history.

On the crucial 8-play, 75-yard drive, Hill had two receptions. He outran Ja’Sir Taylor on a go route on third-and-10 from the Dolphins 25 and caught a 47-yard touchdown after Tagovailoa rose up in the pocket and delivered a precise pass.

The word “different” doesn’t do it justice. In their 23-17 victory over the Dolphins in Week 13 of last year, the Chargers limited Miami to 219 total yards, 119 of which came on just two plays, and they prevented Miami from entering the end zone.

The Chargers had never surrendered as many throwing yards as Tagovailoa did (466), and Miami’s 536 offensive yards were the most ever allowed by the team in a season opener.

Miami had nine plays of at least 21 yards, including Hill’s 35-yard score late in the third quarter to give the Dolphins a 27-24 lead. Raheem Mostert had 37 yards rushing, including a 2-yard TD in the first quarter. Jaylen Waddle had four receptions for 78 yards. Jason Sanders kicked three field goals. Chargers edge rusher Khalil Mack blamed the defense for the loss but also acknowledged the brilliance of Tagovailoa and Hill.

Los Angeles has now surpassed 200 yards on the ground four times since the franchise came to Los Angeles in 2017 thanks to 234 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Austin Ekeler recorded his fourth 100-yard performance in his seven-year career with 117 yards and a touchdown. A minute into the fourth quarter, Joshua Kelley added 91 yards and a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 31-27.

Cameron Dicker made two field goals for the Chargers.

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