After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, the Miami Dolphins controlled the final 45 minutes of action, scoring 35 straight points en route to a 42-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns (126.0 passer rating) to help lead Miami to its first 5-1 start since 2002. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill followed up his 181-yard performance in Week 5 with six receptions for 163 yards (27.2 avg.) and one touchdown. Running back Raheem Mostert led the rushing attack with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries (6.8 avg.).
The Panthers (0-6) got off to a quick start on both sides of the ball, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions and forcing Miami into consecutive three-and-outs to begin the game.
Carolina totaled 138 yards of offense on their opening two drives and jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind a six-yard run from running back Chuba Hubbard and an eight-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bryce Young to wide receiver Adam Thielen.
But in the final 45:06 of game time, Miami outgained Carolina 419-158 and outscored the Panthers 42-7.
It all started with a 27-yard completion from Tagovailoa to Hill as the first quarter came to a close. Eight plays later, Tagovailoa found Mostert, who used a timely block from tight end Durham Smythe to reach the end zone untouched.
On the following drive, the Dolphins defense and special teams stepped up. On fourth-and-eight from the Carolina 49-yard line, linebacker Duke Riley and defensive back Elijah Campbell forced Panthers wideout Laviska Shenault Jr. out of bounds short of the first-down marker after a fake-punt pass from punter Johnny Hekker.
That initial score by the Dolphins offense and stop by the defense began a five-touchdown stretch over six possessions for Miami. First, Tagovailoa rolled left and found Jaylen Waddle for a score. He then placed a deep pass to Hill in stride for a 41-yard touchdown. Two Mostert rushing touchdowns later flipped what was once a two-score lead for the Panthers into a 35-14 advantage for the Dolphins with 12:27 left to play in the game.
A 61-yard pick-six from Carolina cornerback Troy Hill brought the visitors back within 14 points with 4:26 left but the Dolphins responded just five plays later with a nine-yard touchdown run by Salvon Ahmed to give Miami a 42-21 lead and put the game away for good.
Mostert's three-touchdown performance helped set a new personal-best for total touchdowns in a season (11) while Tagovailoa recorded his eighth career game with at least three touchdown passes. Defensively, Miami held its opponent to under 300 total yards of offense for the second straight game.
The Dolphins head back on the road to face the Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET on Oct. 22 and will be broadcast live on NBC.