Skip to main content

Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill put up historic Week 1 numbers to rally Dolphins past Chargers

Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and the Miami Dolphins aren't going to lose many track meets.

They didn't on Sunday, as Tagovailoa returned to action, Hill reaffirmed his status as one of league's most dangerous gamebreakers and the two combined for some historic numbers in Miami's 36-34 come-from-behind win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

"It's the National Football League and those are two guys that really worried about the right stuff," Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said after the game, via team transcript. "That's the ultimate hope as a coach -- all that time invested and those high standards that you're holding yourself to, that that's rewarded. I think, today it definitely was. They were on the same page for sure."

Tagovailoa and Hill were surely on the same page, and it was one a beleaguered Chargers defense read over and over.

Playing for the first time since Week 17 last season due to a concussion, Tagovailoa triumphantly returned to the tune of 466 yards on 28-of-45 passing with three touchdowns and a 110.0 rating. Hill caught a pair of those touchdowns to go with 11 receptions and a mind-spinning 215 yards.

"I was just really excited to be out there again," Tagovailoa said. "I don't think anything else relates to the adrenaline rush that you get when you go out there. You have the fans -- even when you're warming up, you can smell the popcorn. There are just a lot of things that you just can't really emulate. Being able to go out there with the guys, it was awesome."

Awesome was one of an abundance of superlatives that could've been used to describe Hill.

It was Hill's third career game with 200-plus yards and two or more receiving touchdowns -- the most of any player in the Super Bowl era, per NFL Research. It was also the second-most receiving yards in a Week 1 game during the Super Bowl era. Meanwhile, Tagovailoa's 466 yards were the most against the Chargers in their history and the third-highest mark of any QB in a Week 1 game (in the Super Bowl era).

"I always feel like nobody can guard me as a competitor," Hill said after the game. "I feel like if you ask anybody in our room, they'll say the same thing -- can't nobody guard me or them. I just feel like that's just a competitive mindset. I want the ball. Well, that sounds kind of like crazy. But yeah, like I just feel like can't nobody guard me."

Eye-popping as the stats were, it was Tagovailoa and Hill's ability to come up clutch that stood tallest at the end of Sunday following their connection for a 4-yard game-winning TD from Tagovailoa with 1:45 to go.

"It was a situation where we needed to go down and we needed to score in order to give our team an opportunity to be in the lead," Tagovailoa said. "I think our guys did a phenomenal job of not losing their composure in the heat of the moment.

"It's always tough to come into another stadium and come out with a win. That's a tough team, and we're very glad that we got to get the win."

Tagovailoa's back, he's healthy and he was on his game.

For McDaniel, it might just be Week 1, but it was a performance that left him justified -- sorta.

"It's validating to me because I don't feel crazy," he said. "That's kind of what I expected to happen with the work that he's done. I think he needs to continue -- literally, it's the easiest most layup coaching point of all time -- continue to do what you're doing. Honestly, that's where he's at.

"He's as coachable as any player I've ever been around in my life. I want him to keep doing that."

Related Content