Tua Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns and Tyreek Hill had 215 yards and two scores and the Miami Dolphins rallied for a 36-34 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Hill caught a 4-yard pass in the right corner of the end zone with 1:45 remaining for the clinching touchdown as the Dolphins finished with 536 yards.
Hill had 215 yards — the third-best total in Week 1 in league history — on 11 receptions and had a pair of touchdowns. He also had a 35-yard score on a go-route late in the third quarter to put the Dolphins up 27-24.
Tagovailoa’s 466 passing yards are the fourth most in an opener. The fourth-year quarterback completed 28 of 45 for three touchdowns. He also had a 1-yard TD to River Cracraft late in the second quarter.
Raheem Mostert had 37 yards rushing, including a 2-yard TD in the first quarter while Jaylen Waddle had four receptions for 78 yards.
Jason Sanders added three field goals.
The Chargers got the ball back with 1:45 remaining, but turned it over on downs. Justin Herbert had an intentional grounding penalty and was sacked twice on the final series. He finished 23 for 33 for 228 yards and a touchdown.
Austin Ekeler rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown and Joshua Kelley added 91 yards and a score as the Chargers lost an opener for the first time since 2018.
Cameron Dicker added two field goals for the Chargers.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley prioritized upgrading the running game when he hired Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator. They led the league in rushing in the preseason and then had 234 yards on Sunday.
It was Ekeler’s fourth 100-yard rushing game in his seven-year career. He had a 1-yard TD in the first quarter, and his 55-yard carry up the middle in the second quarter set up Herbert’s 1-yard pass to Donald Parham on third-and-goal to give the Chargers a 14-10 lead.
Kelley had a 2-yard score a minute into the fourth quarter to make it 31-27.
After Nick Williams recovered a Dolphins’ botched snap at the LA 6, the Chargers went 14 plays, capped by Ekeler’s 1-yard run off right tackle. It was the second time in the past three years, and fourth since 2000, that the Chargers have had a touchdown on their opening drive of the season.
It also was Los Angeles’ first fumble recovery on the opening defensive drive of the season in 11 years.
9 SECONDS? NO PROBLEM
After the Chargers tied it at 17 on Dicker’s 50-yard field goal, the Dolphins took over at their 25 with 9 seconds remaining.
Tagovailoa connected with Waddle for 22 yards, and Miami got into field-goal range when Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson was called for pass interference on a deep pass on what would have been the final play of the half.
That put the ball at the LA 23, where Sanders nailed a 41-yard field goal to give the Dolphins a 20-17 halftime lead.
Chargers: WR Mike Williams left the game in the second quarter to be evaluated for a head injury. He returned to the game in the second half.
Dolphins: Travel to New England next Sunday night.
Chargers: Travel to Tennessee next Sunday.
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Source: NBC Los Angeles