Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa totaled 324 passing yards and three touchdowns and the Miami Dolphins secured a regular-season sweep of the New England Patriots with a 31-17 victory Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.
With the win, the Dolphins improved to 12-1 in starts by Tagovailoa against Super Bowl-winning head coaches and 6-0 in starts by him against the Patriots.
After the two sides combined for three consecutive punts to start the contest, the Patriots came up with the game's first impact play on an interception by safety Kyle Dugger. His 15-yard return gave New England's offense great starting field position at the Miami 30-yard line and eventually led to a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mac Jones to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.
But just like the team's last home game against Carolina, Miami rallied from the early deficit and scored 17 consecutive points to close out the first half.
Tagovailoa got things started with a deep pass to Hill in the left side of the endzone for a 42-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 just before the end of the first quarter.
Miami's defense then forced its second three-and-out of the afternoon and the offense took the field once again.
A lengthy 14-play, 53-yard drive culminated in a one-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr., his first as a Dolphin, to give Miami a 14-7 lead with 6:10 to play in the second quarter.
Jalen Ramsey then made sure his Dolphins debut would be a memorable one.
On second-and-nine from the Miami 37-yard line, the six-time Pro Bowl honoree stepped in front of a pass intended for Bourne and returned his first Dolphins interception 49 yards to the Patriots 40-yard line.
Jason Sanders then knocked in a 30-yard field goal to give Miami a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.
That two-score cushion was wiped away quickly, though, as the Dolphins fumbled a handoff on the first play of the second half and Patriots linebacker Anfernee Jennings fell on the loose ball at the Miami 19-yard line.
Facing a short field, the Dolphins defense rose to the challenge and forced a 38-yard field goal to keep a 17-10 advantage.
The Dolphins offense responded in a big way on their next drive as Tagovailoa found Hill for a 22-yard gain. He then completed passes to Waddle (23 yards) and wide receiver Chase Claypool (15 yards). A seven-yard completion to tight end Durham Smythe put the ball at the one-yard line and set up Raheem Mostert for his 10th rushing score of the season to give Miami a 24-10 lead with 7:35 to play in the third quarter.
After two more punts, the Patriots offense broke through on fourth-and-three from the three-yard line as Jones found wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for a touchdown to bring New England back within seven, 24-17, with 8:30 to play in the game.
Tagovailoa answered that 81-yard drive with a 10-play 75-yard possession to give Miami a 31-17 lead with 2:43 left on the clock.
He kept the drive alive on third-and-nine with a nine-yard completion to Hill and then finished it off with a pass to a wide-open Waddle for a 31-yard touchdown.
Hill and Waddle each recorded 100+ receiving yards for the fifth time as teammates.
Tagovailoa's 324 yards marked his 11th career 300-yard passing game and his fourth of the 2023 season.
Linebacker Jaelan Phillips finished with a co-game-high eight tackles and, along with linebacker Bradley Chubb and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, recorded a sack.
In two games this season against the Patriots, the Dolphins defense forced three turnovers, and held the New England rushing attack to 165 yards on 44 carries (3.8 avg).
The Dolphins will travel to Frankfurt, Germany to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Nov. 5. Kickoff is set for 9:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on NFL Network.