During Sunday’s lopsided game against the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins decided to take a knee instead of driving for the last three points that would have given them the NFL’s all-time record for the highest-scoring regular season game.
As the game came to its close, the Dolphins had crushed Denver 70-20, only three points shy of a record.
Even as fans at Hard Rock Stadium were heard chanting, “Three more points,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel decided to order his team to take a knee and let time run out instead of going for the record.
Can confirm. https://t.co/mfIwoMKhvG
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 24, 2023
“It felt like chasing points, chasing a record, that’s not what we came here to do. That doesn’t have a bearing on the overall season outcome,” said Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, according to CNN. “Ten times out of 10 you concede and kneel down in those situations. Because there was an attainable record, that was cool, but the message I thought it would send wasn’t in line with how I view things.”
Still, Miami joined the record books as only the fourth time in NFL history that a team surged to 70 points or more in a single game.
The top record is the 73 points earned by the Chicago Bears in the 1940 NFL Championship. But for a regular season game, the record is 72 points by Washington in 1966. The third record was set in 1950 when the L.A. Rams trounced the Baltimore Colts by 43 points.
The Dolphins had 726 total yards with 10 touchdowns and fell short of the end zone for only three runs.
Starting QB Tua Tagovailoa completed all 17 of his first pass attempts of the game, finishing 23-for-26 for 309 yards and four touchdowns for his win. In addition, running back Raheem Mostert had four total touchdowns, and Devon Achane had 202 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown, including a 67-yard TD run that brought the Dolphins to the 70-point record in the fourth quarter.
Tagovailoa was amazed after the game.
“This doesn’t compare to anything that I’ve seen or been a part of,” the quarterback said. “It just talks about the resilience of our team. Although we were up going into halftime, I’m very proud of the guys and the way they continued to play. No one took their foot off the gas, everyone continued to play, and that’s the result that we got.”
On the other hand, Broncos head coach Sean Payton was less than thrilled with the “embarrassing” finish.
He was so fed up that during the post-game presser, he interrupted a reporter who was running down all of the Dolphins’ astounding stats and sharply snipped, ““I’m aware. What’s the questions?”