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Tua shines as Dolphins edge Chargers

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

By Eddie Lopez

Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash

This Sunday marked the first game of the season for the Dolphins. Coming off a disappointing end to the season and an offseason headlined by the acquisitions of star corner Jalen Ramsey and former University of Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios, the 2024 season opener came with a lot of hype and it did not disappoint as the Dolphins and Chargers combined for 70 points on the action-packed Sunday afternoon game in Sofi Stadium.

The first drive of the game was started with a botched snap by Dolphins Center Connor Williams. The Dolphins were able to bounce back with two big gains by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but at the goal line quarterback Tua Tagovailoa fumbled the ball with 12 minutes to go in the first quarter.

The Chargers were able to capitalize on the fumble by scoring on a successful drive led by a 36-yard gain by Chargers wide receiver Kennan Allen and a touchdown by running back Austin Ekeler. Chargers 7-0. The Dolphins offense retaliated on the next drive by scoring on a touchdown by Running back Raheem Mostert. The game was tied at 7-7.

To kick off the second quarter, the Dolphins defense was able to shut down the Chargers and force a punt which later in the drive resulted in a field goal for the Dolphins. 10-7 Dolphins. The Chargers were able to keep on rolling after the unsuccessful drive by scoring on a touchdown to wide receiver Donald Parham Jr. 14-10 Chargers.

The Dolphins offense was able to score on a touchdown pass to wide receiver River Cracraft and take the lead. Dolphins 17-14. After a 10-play drive the Chargers were able to tie the game with a field goal. Game Tied 17-17.

With nine seconds left in the half, the Dolphins decided to take a shot downfield to see what could happen. They were able to draw an unnecessary pass interference by Chargers' corner JC Jackson and set up for a field goal kick by Jason Sanders. 20-17 Dolphins .

The Chargers came out hot out of the half with a rushing touchdown in their first drive. 24-20 Chargers. The Dolphins failed to answer as Tua threw an interception intended for receiver Braxton Berrios. But as Tua does best, he answered back after the interception. Throwing a 35-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill. 27-24 Dolphins.

The Fourth Quarter was one for the books. Chargers running back Joshua Kelley started it off by running it in for a 2-yd touchdown. 31-27 Chargers. The Dolphins put up a nice drive and brought out Sanders for another field goal. 31-30 Chargers. The Chargers did the same and once again took the lead at 34-30.

Tua came out the very next drive and had two of the best throws of his career. First, a 47-yard pass to Tyreek on one foo while moving. Then, he passed another beautiful touchdown pass to Tyreek right in the chest. Jason Sanders missed the extra point and the score is now 36-34 Dolphins. The Dolphins defense brought the pressure and was able to sack Justin Herbert twice and cause a turnover on downs. Tua lined up in victory formation and the Dolphins win 36-34.

Post Game Notes

Despite losing tar tackle Terron Armstead to injury, the Dolphins were able to contain Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa and allowed 0 sacks. Tua showed his resilience once again after bouncing back from the interception and fumble and finishing the game with 466 yards, which was the fourth most passing yards in a season-opening game according to Adam Schefter. Tyreek Hill also had an amazing day totaling 215 receiving yards which was the third most receiving yards in a season-opening game.

The Dolphins look to keep the momentum rolling in their next matchup against the division rival New England Patriots in Foxburough. The game is next Sunday at 8:20 on NBC.

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1 Comment

David Pugh II
David Pugh II
Sep 11, 2023

Well written article Eddie! Congratulations!

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