Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 215 of his 280 yards passing in the first half and connected with wide receiver Tyreek Hill for two touchdowns of 60+ yards as Miami jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead and eventually came away with a 45-15 victory over the Washington Commanders Sunday afternoon at FedExField.
Hill finished with five receptions for 157 yards (31.4 avg.) to help the Dolphins move to 9-3 for the first time since 2001.
Running back De’Von Achane added 73 rushing yards and two touchdowns while linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel totaled five tackles (four solo), two passes defensed and a pick-six in his first start since Week 7.
The Dolphins defense held Commanders quarterback Sam Howell, the NFL's leader in passing yards through 12 weeks, to career lows in passing yards (127), yards per pass attempt (5.52), completion percentage (52.2), and passing first downs (5) and a season low in completions (12).
Tagovailoa started the day with a 78-yard touchdown pass to Hill on the team's third offensive play from scrimmage to go up 7-0.
After forcing a second straight punt on defense, the Dolphins drove into Washington territory but stalled. A 49-yard field goal by Jason Sanders gave Miami a 10-0 lead with 3:39 to play in the first quarter.
On the next play from scrimmage, Van Ginkel picked off a screen pass from Howell and ran 33 yards the other way for the Dolphins' second pick-six in as many games.
Miami's 17-0 lead after 15 minutes tied its second-largest since at least 2000.
The Commanders gained just 33 total yards on their first four offensive drives but began to move the ball on their fifth thanks to a 29-yard gain from running back Brian Robinson Jr. and a 33-yard reception by wide receiver Curtis Samuel.
Howell then scored, after two initial goal-line stops by Miami, on a quarterback sneak from the one-yard line to cut the Commanders' deficit to 17-7.
The Dolphins responded quickly.
On the fifth play of the next drive, Tagovailoa completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to Hill to put Miami back up 17, 24-7, with 9:14 left in the second quarter.
After two quick scores on offense, the Dolphins ended the half with an 11-play, 76-yard possession that took up 5:35 of game clock. Miami faced third-and-6 and third-and-12 on the drive but converted both times on passes to Hill for 20 yards and Jaylen Waddle for 16 yards.
Raheem Mostert then closed out the half with a one-yard touchdown run, his league-leading 14th rushing score of the season, to put Miami up 31-7 at the break.
The Dolphins opened the second half with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive that saw Tagovailoa complete passes to five different receivers. Achane finished things off with a four-yard touchdown run to give Miami a 38-7 lead.
Washington answered Achane's touchdown with a nine-play scoring drive of their own that was jump-started by a 32-yard completion from Howell to running back Antonio Gibson. Then on fourth-and-3 from the Miami 13-yard line, Howell escaped a near-sack by linebacker Bradley Chubb and scrambled around multiple Dolphins defenders for his second rushing score of the game. His two-point pass to tight end Logan Thomas made it a 38-15 game with 4:31 left in the third quarter.
The Dolphins capped off an explosive day of offense with a 13-play drive that chewed up 7:50 of fourth-quarter clock. After 11 consecutive runs and a toss to wide receiver River Cracraft, Achane scored his second touchdown of the day on a fourth-and-2 run from the Washington two-yard line to complete the 45-15 win.
Miami returns to Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 11 to take on the Tennessee Titans (4-8) on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.