The Mike McDaniel era as head coach of the Miami Dolphins has officially started off the right way: victorious.
The Dolphins used contributions from the offense, defense and special teams – including a fourth down touchdown pass from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa – in a 20-7 victory over the New England Patriots inside Hard Rock Stadium for a fourth straight victory over their AFC East foes.
Miami (1-0) got on the board in the first quarter on a 43-yard field goal from kicker Jason Sanders. In the second quarter, the Dolphins’ defense got the first touchdown of the season when safety Brandon Jones sacked New England quarterback Mac Jones, forcing a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Melvin Ingram for the two yard touchdown and a 10-0 lead.
With less than 30 seconds to go in the half, Miami’s offense got in on the scoring when Tagovailoa connected with wide receiver Jaylen Waddle on fourth down for the 42-yard touchdown and a 17-0 halftime lead.
New England (0-1) cut into the lead thanks to a six-yard touchdown pass from Jones to running back Ty Montgomery, but Miami added three more points on a 49-yard field goal from Sanders to extend the lead to 20-7.
Tagovailoa threw for 270 yards on 22 of 32 passing with one touchdown and no interceptions, while his former Alabama teammate Jones went 21 of 30 for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, one of the biggest off-season acquisitions in recent Dolphins history, had eight catches for 94 yards to lead Miami. Waddle added 69 yards on four receptions with the score. Running back Chase Edmonds led Miami on the ground with 25 yards on 12 carries.
The Dolphins outgained New England 307 to 271 on the day, forcing three Patriots turnovers while committing none. It was the fifth win for Miami in the last seven meetings between the teams.
Miami hits the road next Sunday for a showdown with the Baltimore Ravens.