Sunday afternoon the Chargers hosted the Dolphins for their first game of the NFL season. The Dolphins would get the better of their opponents, edging out the Chargers by a score of 36-34.
In his third encounter versus draft mate Justin Herbert, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had his best showing. He impressed mightily, going 28 for 45 with 466 yards, 3 touchdowns & 1 interception.
Herbert on the other hand passed for 228 yards and a touchdown. Not nearly as impressive but a solid performance nonetheless. With much lower passing numbers, the Chargers supplemented their attack through the ground game. The offense managed 234 total rushing yards, far eclipsing the 70 yard total Miami had managed .
Austin Ekeler led all running backs with 117 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He was equally a threat in the air, catching the ball 4 times for 47 yards.
Ekeler’s running mate Joshua Kelley also put up impressive rushing numbers. On 16 carries he ran for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Throughout the offseason the Dolphins had emphasized running the ball. This seemed to all be forgotten as McDaniel reverted back to his play calling tendencies from last year. As a team, Miami ran the ball 20 times, less than a third of the total snaps taken on offense. Dolphins leading rusher Raheem Mostert managed to only record 37 yards on 10 carries.
Tyreek Hill more than compensated for this lack of production. Hill recorded 215 yards and 2 touchdowns off of 11 receptions. In terms of single game yardage, this performance ranks 4th all time in Dolphins History. Just behind the likes of Brian Hartline (253), Chris Chambers (238) and Mark Duper (217).
Another standout performer for the Dolphins was safety Jevon Holland who recorded 10 tackles.
Both Cornerback Kader Kohou and Defensive Lineman Zach Sieler managed to sack quarterback Justin Herbert. Edge Rusher Jaelen Philipps seemed to be one of the most active players in the Dolphins front seven, he had 6 tackles along with a half sack.
The most impressive Dolphins statistic was from the offensive line. They managed to keep Tua upright, allowing zero sacks the entire game. Keeping quarterback Tua Tagovailoa healthy is of utmost importance. Let’s hope that they can continue to do so.