Explosive Tyreek Hill continues his mastery of the Chargers

Sep 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) avoids Los
Sep 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) avoids Los / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a calendar year ago, the Miami Dolphins made their way west for a Sunday night clash with the Chargers. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggled mightily in a 23-17 loss. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill scored the team’s only two touchdowns (via a fumble return and a reception) in the setback. However, he caught just four passes for 81 yards and one TD despite being targeted 10 times.

On Sunday, the seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro saw 15 throws his way. This time, it added up to 11 catches for 215 yards and a pair of scores. He and Tagovailoa combined for a four-yard touchdown with 1:45 to play which was the difference in a thrilling 36-34 victory. The rapport between the wideout and the quarterback was never more evident.

“You guys see what (Hill) can do for defense, the problems that he offers,” said the fourth-year signal-caller (via USA Today’s Tyler Dragon). “His speed, for one, his ability to catch the ball. He can turn a two-yard route to a 20-yard route.”

Talk about chunk plays? Five of Hill’s 11 catches covered at least 28 yards. The Chargers had no answers for the former divisional rival, who has enjoyed his share of big outings against the Bolts. “I always feel like nobody can guard me,” said the eight-year pro. “As a competitor, if you ask anybody in our room they’ll say the same thing. I just feel like that’s just a competitive mindset. I want the ball. That sounds kind of crazy, but I just feel like nobody can guard me.”

In his first season with the Dolphins in 2022, Hill totaled 119 for 1,710 yards, both career highs, but hauled in a modest seven touchdowns. The big-play performer is obviously off to a rousing start this year.

On Sunday, Miami’s defense gave up 433 total yards to Brandon Staley’s team. Chargers’ running back Austin Ekeler rushed for 117 yards, exactly half of Los Angeles’ 234 yards on the ground. The Dolphins countered with 536 total yards and needed everyone of those, capped off by Tagovailoa’s and Hill’s late-game heroics.

“That’s the stuff that you want to see,” explained Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel. “You put the ball in the hands of your best players.” Obviously, the Chargers had no real answers (again) when it came to keeping the ball away from Hill.