The Miami Dolphins made NFL history with a resounding victory over the Denver Broncos in their home opener. However, a key decision in the match has caused a lot of uproar. Here’s the whole story.
The Miami Dolphins put on a dazzling offensive performance on Sunday, securing a historic win in their home opener against the Denver Broncos with a jaw-dropping score of 70-20.
This remarkable victory marked the second-highest point total ever recorded by a team in a regular season NFL game, closely trailing the Chicago Bears’ 73-point record set in the 1940 NFL Championship.
Dolphins Chose To Take The Knee
Washington’s regular-season record of 72 points from 1966 was also nearly eclipsed in this explosive showdown.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins found themselves with an opportunity to break the NFL regular season scoring record and tie the Bears’ historic mark.
However, they chose to kneel rather than attempt a field goal from the Broncos’ 28-yard line.
About the Message, Not the Record
Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel explained, “It felt like chasing points, chasing a record, that’s not what we came here to do. That doesn’t have a bearing on the overall season outcome. Ten times out of 10, you concede and kneel down in those situations. Because there was an attainable record, that was cool, but the message I thought it would send wasn’t in line with how I view things.”
The Dolphin’s victory on Sunday now joins a select group of NFL games in history where a team has scored at least 70 points, including playoff matchups, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Quarterback Dua Tagovailoa had a pivotal role in this offensive spectacle.
He played a perfect first half by completing all 16 of his passes for 206 yards, along with two touchdowns and zero interceptions, propelling the Dolphins to a commanding 35-13 lead.
In doing so, Tagovailoa became the first quarterback since 1991 to throw more than 15 passes without an incompletion.
Tagovailoa, reflecting on this exceptional performance, stated, “It doesn’t compare to anything I’ve ever seen or been a part of. It speaks to the resilience of our team. Even though we went into halftime, I’m really proud of the guys and the way they kept playing. Nobody took their foot off the gas, everybody kept playing, and that’s the result we got.”
“Tough to Watch”
Broncos’ head coach Sean Payton described the game as “awkward” and “tough to watch,” acknowledging that reviewing the game would be a challenging task for both players and coaches,
“Tomorrow will be tough for a lot of players — tough for us, too, as coaches.”
This move by the Dolphins has caused a lot of split opinions from Dolphins and Broncos fans.
They Could Have Broken Records
It resonated with some, with one X user commenting, “It shows they have class. Think about if the Dolphins did go for the field goal kick while already blowing out the other team. Not really a good story for the loser. They did the right thing.”
Another X user added, “Dolphins could’ve just broken the all-time points in a game record, but Mike McDaniels is all class and takes the knee. Bravo.”
However, not everyone agreed with the decision. Another X user expressed a different perspective, saying, “Bro. Dolphins had a chance for the NFL record with 73 points scored in a game, and they took a knee. This generation is soft.”
“Score as Much as You Can.”
Broncos fans also weighed in with their opinions, “Not kicking it is way more humiliating than kicking it. We don’t want your pity. Score as much as you can.”
In the aftermath of the game, Coach McDaniel defended his decision, saying, “I will be fine getting second-guessed by turning down NFL records. That’s fine. I’m very OK with the decision. And I think the team, notably the leaders of the team, supported it.”
McDaniel went on to say, “That’s karma, and we want good karma for Dolphins.”
Strong Contenders for the Super Bowl
This electrifying victory catapulted the Dolphins to a 3-0 start for the season, establishing them as strong contenders in the race to the Super Bowl.
Their next challenge lies ahead as they prepare to face the Buffalo Bills, setting the stage for a highly anticipated clash between two top teams in the AFC East.
Buffalo, the three-time defending division champion, notably ended Miami’s 2022 season in the AFC Wild Card Round, making this upcoming matchup one to watch.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ringo Chiu