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Inside the Numbers: Tagovailoa, Hill Combine for Historic Performance in Week 1 Win Over Chargers

From the Dolphins' historic offensive output to key late-game stops from the defense, Miami's season-opening 36-34 win over the Los Angeles Chargers was memorable.

We go Inside the Numbers, presented by BDO, to take a look at the team stats, individual metrics, milestones and more that helped the Dolphins secure their first victory of the 2023 regular season.

Success in the Season-Opener

With their third consecutive season-opening victory, the Dolphins have now won five of their past seven – and eight of their past 11 – season openers.

Miami handed the Chargers their first Week 1 loss since 2018 while quarterback Tua Tagovailoa improved to 3-0 as a starter in Week 1 games.

High-Octane Offense

Much had been made during training camp about the importance of having a second year to adjust to Head Coach Mike McDaniel's offensive system. It is only one game but the early returns have been positive as Miami's offense put up 36 points and 536 yards while averaging 8.2 yards per play and 10.4 yards per pass play in Week 1. The 536 yards are the sixth-most in team history and most by Miami in a Week 1 contest.

It's also the most total yards in a Week 1 game by any NFL team since 2019.

Tua and Tyreek

Tagovailoa's 466 passing yards were the fifth-most in team history, second-most in his career and the fourth-most in a Week 1 game in NFL history.

He continued his knack for prolific performances on the road, becoming just the fifth quarterback in NFL history with multiple road games of 450+ passing yards and 3+ passing touchdowns, joining QB Joe Montana, QB Tom Brady, QB Patrick Mahomes and QB Boomer Esiason.

Of course, that mark could not have come without the help of speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who racked up 215 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Hill joins wide receivers Don Hutson (four times) and Charlie Hennigan (three times) as the only players in NFL history with at least three career games with 200+ receiving yards and multiple touchdown receptions.

His 215 yards also rank fourth-best in single-game team history.

The 215 yards came on 10 catches, tying Hill with wide receivers Jerry Rice, Antonio Brown, Andre Johnson, and Julio Jones for the most (10) games in NFL history with at least 10 receptions and 150 receiving yards. Five of those 10 performances from Hill have come with the Dolphins.

Career Milestones

Despite playing in his 12th NFL season, veteran cornerback and special teams weapon Justin Bethel had never recorded a sack until Sunday. His first came with just over a minute to play, as he combined with linebacker Jaelan Phillips to take down Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert on fourth-and-12 and seal the win for Miami.

Second-year cornerback Kader Kohou also registered his first career sack when he took down Herbert at the 1-yard line for a 12-yard loss to force a Chargers punt. Tagovailoa found Hill for a 35-yard touchdown pass on the very next play.

Offensively, wide receiver River Cracraft posted the third-most receiving yards of his career (40), and tight end Durham Smythe had the second-most receiving yards of his career (44).

Jason Sanders (129) moved past Dan Carpenter (127) for fourth all-time in made field goals in franchise history. One of Sanders' field goals came as time expired at the end of the first half and gave the Dolphins a 20-17 lead after the offense took the field at their own 25-yard line with just nine seconds left to work with.

For more analysis from Sunday's victory, listen to the latest episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield.

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