There are only two teams left in the AFC with undefeated records, and if you’re looking for the main reason why the Miami Dolphins are one of them, look no further than the key trio of Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert.
And now, these offensive headliners finally have the chance to play at home, when they take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Aiming for a 3-0 start, similar to last season, which was coach Mike McDaniel’s first in Miami, the Dolphins for the second straight week, have a winless opponent in front of them. The Broncos are 0-2 and reeling as they roll into Miami Gardens.
In Miami’s first two wins, when the Dolphins defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 36-34, and the New England Patriots, 24-17, they did not have the expectations that Week 3 brings. Now, with offensive stats galore, and a first-place standing, Miami is favored by 6.5 points.
It makes sense as the Dolphins have already scored 60 points. And the Broncos have allowed 52.
But Tagovailoa’s numbers are more impressive. He has a QBR of 78.3, a quarterback metric from ESPN that measures efficiency, to go along 715 yards passing and four touchdowns. He’s also had one of the more impressive outings in Dolphins history, completing 28-of-45 passes (62.2 pct.) for 466 yards, three touchdowns and one interception vs. the Chargers. He followed that up with 249 yards and one touchdown vs. the Patriots.
“That’s kind of what I expected to happen just with the work that he’s done,” McDaniel said.
Hill has helped, too. In Week 1, Hill collected 215 receiving yards. Hill, nicknamed “The Cheetah,” reached around 20 MPH in Week 1 and he was faster than any other ball carrier in the NFL.
“Having Tyreek (Hill) and (Jaylen) Waddle” Tagovailoa said, “having fast guys also helps me get the ball out quicker to be able to distribute that and throw off timing for the rushers, as well.”
Tagovailoa and Hill seem to have a connection when it comes to long pass plays that could be useful vs. the Broncos, who allowed 266 passing yards to the Washington Commanders last week.
But Mostert joined the party in Week 2, and has another opportunity against a shaky defense this week. Mostert ran right past the Patriots defense, collecting 121 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Mostert has 158 yards with three touchdowns on the season.
“Just watching the nuances of his game, he’s developed confidence, conviction. His vision is better, he’s more decisive. As you guys could see [against New England], and it was very evident at the end of the season last year, he is a hard tackle,” McDaniel said. “Pound-for-pound, he might be one of, if not the, strongest person on the team. He’s just unique in that way.”
The Broncos allowed 122 rushing yards in Week 2, and are searching for answers in coach Sean Payton’s first season.
“I think we’re all excited. It will be cool to finally get to play in front of our hometown crowd,” Tagovailoa said. “So, I’m sure it’ll be packed and I’m sure those guys are really excited to see us go out there and play.”