On Sunday afternoon, football returned to Hard Rock Stadium as the Dolphins, away for the first two games of the season, finally had the chance to put on a show in front of the home fans. And put on a show they did, in more ways than one in a festive 70-20 win over the Broncos.
The Dolphins' 70 points were far and away the most in franchise history, topping the longstanding Dolphins single-game record of 55, and just two shy of the NFL record of 72, set by a Vietnam War-era Washington Redskins team in 1966. The Dolphins also set an all-time franchise record for total yards, with 726, good for second-most in NFL history.
The Dolphins have officially scored the most points in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/NZttmJrOhE— ESPN (@espn) September 24, 2023
To say these aren't your dad's Miami Dolphins would be an understatement. Dolphins fans quite literally have never seen anything like this before.
When a football team puts up 70 points on its opponent, you can expect a bit of celebrating, and the Dolphins didn't disappoint with many memorable endzone performances, a piece of real estate at Hard Rock Stadium they seemingly occupied all day.
The impromptu celebrations began 90 seconds into the game as Tua Tagovailoa hit Tyreek Hill on a long crossing route for a 54-yard score. Hill, a man worth the price of admission himself, decided to jump into the crowd to gain a fan's POV of what it feels like to celebrate a Dolphins touchdown.
Tyreek Hill anytime TD bettors are loving life 😂— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 24, 2023
✅ +115 vs. Chargers
✅ +120 vs. Patriots
✅ -110 vs. Broncos pic.twitter.com/JkTiQcmrxd
This touchdown made the score 7-0. The Dolphins would go on to score 63 points. We know it's basic math, but it bears reminding just how insane that tally is, even if we all lived it live and in color.
For Dolphins fans who have endured vanilla play calls and settling for field goals inside the five-yard line for what feels like a lifetime, watching the team's offense get creative and play with its food is a sight for sore eyes.
The score was then 21-7 nearing the midpoint of the second quarter. Nothing out of the ordinary to see here. But oh, would the unordinary come.
Having 35 points at halftime puts you on pace for, well, 70 points. But nobody expected it to happen.
Nope. They didn't do that. Not even close.
A casual 68-yard touchdown toss to Anderson put a 60-burger on the scoreboard, and suddenly the NFL record for points scored in a game was within reach with still over nine minutes of football remaining.
The only question left would be whether the Dolphins would choose to top the 72-point record. Because clearly they can do whatever they want.
As it turned out, head coach Mike McDaniel did not pursue the single-game scoring record, instead choosing to kneel the ball on fourth down inside the Broncos 30-yard-line rather than rub it in the Broncos' faces.
Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on not kicking a field goal for NFL record-73 points.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 24, 2023
“It felt like chasing points, chasing a record is not what we came here to do… 10 times out of 10 you concede and kneel down.”
McDaniel later said that’s karma and we want good karma for Dolphins. pic.twitter.com/GCqXwmAoar
After the game, McDaniel explained to the media that "chasing a record is not what he came here to do," adding that he believes in karma. Taking your foot off an opponent's neck in the name of not putting their name in the history books next to yours evidently was McDaniel's good deed for the day.
The Dolphins will be back on the road next week, as the team travels to Buffalo to face the Bills, who had a strong Week 3 themselves, dropping 37 points against Washington. A win would move the Dolphins to 4-0 on the season with an early two-game lead on the rest of the pack in the AFC East, and you can bet the Dolphins will trade chasing history for a one-point win.