Earlier this season, the Miami Dolphins looked like one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. They were averaging 21 points and 355 yards per game in a 3-0 start to the season. But when Tua Tagovailoa went down with a scary concussion and missed two games, the Dolphins regressed and fell to 3-3.
Now back and fully healthy, the Dolphins look fun again.
Miami scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to come back and beat the Detroit Lions, 31-27. The offensive explosion featured the Dolphins' usual suspects: Tyreek Hill caught 12 passes for 188 yards — his fourth game with more than 160 yards – and Jaylen Waddle added eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Mike Gesicki caught the go-ahead score late in the third quarter which would seal the win for the Dolphins.
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Tagovailoa himself was efficient and accurate. He completed 80 percent of his passes and finished with 382 yards and three touchdowns, his first game with multiple passing scores and more than 300 passing yards since the Week 2 fourth-quarter comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens.
And in a way, this game was very similar to that one.
Against the Ravens, the Dolphins scored 28 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull off the improbable win. Tagovailoa finished that game with 469 passing yards and six passing touchdowns, including two each to Hill and Waddle.
While the deficit against the Lions wasn't nearly as big, the rally was enthralling. The Dolphins trailed 21-7 at one point early in the second quarter thanks to some turnovers and defensive errors. Waddle's second touchdown and a field goal cut the deficit to 10 points heading into halftime, and Tagovailoa led two more scoring drives in the third quarter to complete the comeback.
Beating the Lions isn't an exciting win on paper — Detroit allowed the most yards and points heading into Week 8 — but the victory keeps the Dolphins squarely in the playoff conversation and Tagovailoa looked like his pre-injury self again. The offense under first-year head coach Mike McDaniel is humming once more, too. Hill's yardage explosion put him among elite company: His 962 receiving yards is the third-most by a player in a team's first eight games in the Super Bowl era.
The Dolphins look scary again and could be a player in the AFC race.