The Miami Dolphins put on an offensive masterclass on Sunday, beating the Denver Broncos 70-20 in their home opener and scoring the second-most points by a team in a regular-season game in the NFL history.
The NFL single-game record is 73 points, set by the Chicago Bears in the 1940 NFL championship. The regular season record is 72 points set by Washington in 1966.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins had a chance to break the NFL regular season record and tie the Bears’ mark, but chose to kneel down instead of kicking a field goal from the Broncos 28-yard line.
“It was like chasing points, chasing a record, that’s not what we came here for. It has no bearing on the overall outcome of the season,” Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said. “Ten times out of ten you concede and kneel in these situations. Because there was an achievable record, it was cool, but the message I thought it would send didn’t match the way I saw things.
Miami’s victory is only the fourth time in NFL history that a team has scored at least 70 points, including the playoffs. according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa orchestrated a perfect first half, completing 16 of 16 passes for 206 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the team to a 35-13 lead.
Tagovailoa is the first quarterback since 1991 to complete more than 15 passes without a miss and throw for more than 200 yards at halftime.
“It doesn’t compare to anything I’ve seen or been a part of,” Tagovailoa said. “It just speaks to the resilience of our team. Even though we were ahead at halftime, I’m very proud of the guys and the way they continued to play. Nobody let up, everyone kept playing and that’s the result we got.
Achane finished the game with 203 rushing yards on 18 carries, while Mostert totaled 142 yards.
Tagovailoa and most of the team’s stars were removed from the game early in the fourth quarter. He finished with four touchdown passes in the game on 23-of-26 completions.
Miami’s 726 total yards constitute a franchise record for most construction sites never in a game.
Broncos head coach Sean Payton described the game as “embarrassing” and “difficult to watch.”
“Look, it would be one thing to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to move on to the next game,’ but we have to watch this tape, and so tomorrow will be difficult for a lot of players – difficult for us, also as coaches” , Payton added.
Later in the press conference, Payton lashed out at a reporter who was reviewing some statistics from the historic defeat as he asked his question.
“I’m aware. What are the questions? Payton interjected. “What is the question? I just finished telling you. Next question.”
In December 1940, the Bears defeated Washington 73-0 in the NFL championship game. In November 1966, Washington defeated the New York Giants 72-41 at the end of the regular season.
The only other team to score 70 points in an NFL game was the Los Angeles Rams in 1950 against the Baltimore Colts.