The Miami Dolphins leave Detroit with a 31-27 win over the Lions and go 5-3. While the game started with the Dolphins trailing 14-0, offense and defense made the necessary adjustments.
Thanks to Mike McDaniel and defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, who must have made productive halftime speeches as the defense didn’t give up a point in the second half and only allowed the Lions 67 yards of offense.
Attacking, Tua Tagovailoa had the highest-rated passing game of his career (138.7 passing rating). Additionally, Tagovailoa now has a passer rating of at least 90 in each of the five games he has started and ended this season.
This is their best eight-game start in the past decade, as Miami also started the 2014 and 2020 seasons 5-3. McDaniel’s start is the second-best by a new manager in club history. Only Dave Wannstedt, who began his tenure 6-2 in 2000, had a better record after eight games.
Here are some stats, news and notes from the Dolphins’ victory in Week 8:
- Tagovailoa is going 5-0 in the beginning and ending of games this season. This week he ended the game with two ice throws and completed 29 of his 36 attempts for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He could easily have had four touchdowns, as Trent Sherfield was arguably deprived of a point as his reach to the goal line after a catch-and-run was considered inches short.
- In seven career games against the NFC, Tagovailoa is 6-1 with 1,686 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and a 111.6 passer rating.
- Waddle notched two touchdowns for the third time in his career and gained 100+ yards for the fifth time.
- As a rookie last season, he averaged 9.8 yards per catch, despite a few games without Tagovailoa. So far this season, with or without a starting quarterback, Waddle has averaged 17.3 yards per reception. He leads the league in that category among those with 20 or more receptions.
- Hill and Waddle have been attacked by Tagovailoa 23 times. They finished with 20 combined receptions and 294 yards. Hill gained 15.7 yards per catch and Waddle gained 13.3 yards.
- Waddle has five touchdown receptions this season, the most by a Dolphins player in the team’s first eight games since 2014, when Mike Wallace accomplished the same feat.
- Hill and Waddle’s 1,688 total receiving yards is more than 10 different NFL teams from all their players combined this year.
- Holland had 12 tackles, an exquisite pass defended and a couple of wild hits.
- This was his third straight game with at least five tackles
- The Dolphins were very solid in third place, converting eight of their 12 attempts (66.7%).
- Miami’s 292.5 yards per game this season is the third-best in the NFL, and her 6.24 yards per game also ranks third.
- They average 8.01 passing yards per game, which is the second highest in the league.
- Sunday marked the second time the Dolphins won a road game after falling 14 points or more behind this season, which is the first time Miami has done so since 1996.
- The franchise tight end scored their fourth touchdown of the season and third in three weeks.
- Only two tight ends in the NFL have had more touchdowns than Mike Gesicki so far this year — Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. This is the list.
- Gesicki gained 38 yards against the Lions and brought his career total to 2,490 receiving yards, which puts him second on the team’s all-time tight end yardage list, beating Bruce Hardy, who had 2,455 yards. Randy McMichael takes the top spot. Gesicki needs 607 yards to overtake him.
- The Michigan native had an impressive homecoming. He received a team ball on a sack, a tackle for loss, two passes defended and four tackles total.