Dolphins' "Greatest Show on Surf" Rips Pages Out of the Record Book in Win Over Denver

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel showed some restraint in the final moments of the team's blowout win against Denver.
Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill celebrate after a Miami Dolphins touchdown in the historic blowout of the Denver Broncos at  on September 24, 2023, at Hard Rock Stadium.
Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill celebrate after a Miami Dolphins touchdown in the historic blowout of the Denver Broncos at on September 24, 2023, at Hard Rock Stadium. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Share this:
The Miami Dolphins opened a historic can of whoop-ass in the team's 2023 home opener against the Denver Broncos and had one hell of a housewarming party in the process.

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.

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.

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.
The Dolphins, of course, weren't done celebrating their return to South Florida. Early into the second quarter, they treated their company in the stands to a magic show, with Tua pulling a rabbit out of a hat and using some sleight of hand to get the ball to rookie runningback De'Von Achane for a four-yard score.

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.
When you think the Dolphins can't get any more entertaining, their offense puts up 35 points in a single half of football and ends it all dancing back into the locker room. After multiple Broncos turnovers — because, don't forget, the Dolphins also have a defense that runs around and does cardio on Sundays — the offense was set up for success, and they capitalized.

Having 35 points at halftime puts you on pace for, well, 70 points. But nobody expected it to happen.
Fittingly, the offense they call the "Greatest Show on Surf" included a Raheem Mostert touchdown run that ended with his new favorite touchdown celebration — pretending to catch a wave on a surfboard. The Dolphins went up 49-13 entering the fourth quarter. One would assume they would take Tua out of the game and sit on the football.

Nope. They didn't do that. Not even close.
Tua tossed one more score, his fourth of the day, before backup quarterback Mike White and the recently called-up practice-squad wide receiver Chosen Anderson had themselves a little game of pitch-and-catch.

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.
With the ball back again at that same part of the field just a minute later, the Dolphins handed the ball off to Achane, who promptly used his Texas High School champion track star skills to hang a clean 70 on the board for the Phins.

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.

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. 
KEEP NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls. Make a one-time donation today for as little as $1.