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Inside The Numbers: Dolphins 28, Raiders 20

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  • The Dolphins are off to a 3-0 start for the 14th time in franchise history, thanks in large part to big plays on offense, defense and special teams.
  • In the team’s previous 13 3-0 starts, the Dolphins went on to make the playoffs nine times and they never finished with worse than an 8-8 record.
  • Around the NFL, 74 percent of the teams that start 3-0 go on to make the playoffs, according to the Red Zone Network. The Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons were the only two teams to start 3-0 in 2017, and both made the playoffs.
  • The Dolphins, Chiefs and Rams stand as the only 3-0 teams in the NFL this season, and the Dolphins and Rams have become the 15th and 16th teams since the division realignment in 2002 to have a two-game lead after three weeks. Of the first 14, 10 teams went on to win the division title, two made the playoffs as a wild card, and two (the 2008 Broncos and the 2003 Vikings) failed to make the postseason.
  • The Dolphins’ previous 3-0 starts came in 1972, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2013.
  • As mentioned before, big plays have been perhaps the biggest reason for success so far in 2018.
  • It’s actually been a historic start for the Dolphins from a big-play standpoint.
  • In only three games, the Dolphins have four touchdowns of 50 yards or longer — Jakeem Grant’s 102-yard kickoff return and Ryan Tannehill’s 75-yard pass to Kenny Stills against the Tennessee Titans, and Albert Wilson’s 52-yard pass to Jakeem Grant and Tannehill’s 74-yard shovel pass to Wilson against the Oakland Raiders.
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  • The four 50-yard touchdowns in one season already are tied for third-most by the Dolphins over the last decade, behind only the nine they produced in 2016 and the five in 2015.
  • The Dolphins had more touchdowns of 50 yards or more in their first three games than in any other previous season. They had three in 1978, 1994 and 1995.
  • At this time last year, the Dolphins did not have a touchdown of 50 yards or longer.
  • Amazingly, all four long touchdowns have come in the fourth quarter, which already has tied the franchise single-season record for most 50-yard touchdowns in that quarter. The Dolphins also did it in 2005 and 2016.
  • Coming into this season, the Dolphins had had one fourth quarter in franchise history with two 50-yard touchdowns (in the 2005 opener against the Denver Broncos), but they’ve done it twice already this season.
  • The 2018 Dolphins also needed only three games to tie the franchise record for most games in a season with two touchdowns of 50 yards or more. They also did it twice in 1970, 1975, 1977, 1985 and 2005.
  • Grant became the third player in Dolphins history to score on a kickoff return and a pass play of 50 yards or longer in the same season. He joined Ted Ginn Jr. (2009) and Freddie Solomon (1977).
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  • Wilson hit a top speed of 21.73 MPH during his 74-yard touchdown—the fastest recorded time by any player in the NFL this week.
  • Wilson’s 52-yard touchdown pass to Grant in the fourth quarter was the longest by an NFL wide receiver since 2012 when Mohamed Sanu of the Cincinnati Bengals threw a 73-yard TD pass to A.J. Green.
  • Wilson’s pass was the first TD pass thrown by a Dolphins wide receiver since 1983 when Mark Clayton hit Mark Duper for a 48-yard touchdown. It also was the longest completion by a Dolphins wide receiver since 2004 when Marty Booker threw a 48-yard pass to Chris Chambers against the St. Louis Rams.
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  • The Dolphins’ seven interceptions represent their highest total through three games since 2002 when they also had seven.
  • This season also marked the first time since 1996 that the Dolphins had at least two interceptions in each of their first three games.
  • Xavien Howard’s three interceptions is the highest total for a Dolphins player through three games since 1996 when Terrell Buckley had four picks and Louis Oliver had three.
  • Linebacker Kiko Alonso is second in the NFL with 34 total tackles, the highest total for a Dolphins player through three games since 2005 when Zach Thomas had 43.
  • Tannehill’s completion percentage of 73.0 is the highest in franchise history through the first three games for quarterbacks with at least 60 pass attempts.
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  • Tannehill’s passer rating of 121.8 is the second-highest in franchise history through three games, behind only the 122.5 put up by Dan Marino in his record-setting 1984 season.
  • Tannehill’s yards per pass attempt average of 9.28 is the third-highest for a Dolphins quarterback with at least 60 attempts through three games, behind only Marino averages of 9.58 in 1994 and 9.34 in 1984.
  • With his 26 rushing yards against Oakland, Tannehill has 74 on the season, the third-highest total ever for a Dolphins quarterback through three games. The record is 111 yards, set by Chad Henne in 2011. David Woodley had 96 rushing yards through three games in 1982.
  • Tannehill had 70 rushing yards over the past two games, which ranked fourth in the NFL among quarterbacks behind only DeShaun Watson’s 80 yards, Cam Newton’s 78 and Josh Allen’s 71.
  • Finally, this could fall under the category of making the most of their time: The Dolphins were able to defeat the Raiders despite having the ball on offense for only 21:29. The last time the Dolphins won while having that low a time of possession was Dec. 11, 2005 when they defeated the San Diego Chargers, 23-21, despite having the ball for only 19:43.

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