By: Brandon Liguori
There were four crucial headlines in Sunday afternoon’s 24-0 victory over the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium: Miami’s 24-0 victory marked the team’s first shutout in 2,177 days (Nov. 2, 2014 vs. San Diego). Additionally, the Dolphins breezed smoothly past the Jets by 10 points or more for the first time since Dec. 17, 2016 (34-13).
The good times continued with both the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants earning victories in their respective matches, leaving Gase’s Jets as the only winless organization heading into Week 7. And lest we forget, Tua Tagovailoa, Miami’s first-round draft selection this past April, made his professional debut late in the fourth quarter.
“I think we had a good week of practice. I think Josh called a great game, did a good job getting those guys ready to play and then the players played well,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said, whose team moved to 3-3 heading into an important bye week.
Tagovailoa entered the game at the 2:27 mark of the final quarter, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who tossed his second consecutive three-touchdown game. Tagovailoa’s entrance brought jubilation across Hard Rock Stadium, marking the first time since sustaining a season-ending hip injury on Nov. 16, 2019 against Mississippi State during Tagovailoa’s collegiate days at Alabama that Tagovailoa played under center in a meaningful football game.
Limited to one offensive series, Tagovailoa finished a perfect 2-for-2 passing with nine yards, closing out the win. “I think he went in and had a run play, threw a couple passes, got some- just got some playing time,” Flores said. On the opposing side, it was an ugly day for Joe Flacco, who filled in for Sam Darnold for the second straight Sunday.
Flacco’s unit never really gave Miami’s defense fits, converting two third downs on 17 attempts and punting the football 10 times. “We didn’t take advantage of anything at the beginning of the game. We had some opportunities for some big plays to kind of get everyone jump started.
We didn’t get that done,” Jets head coach Adam Gase said, who dropped to 1-2 in three head-to-head meetings against the team that fired him at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign