There are statement games and there are STATEMENT games. And nine capital letters might not even do justice to what the Miami Dolphins did to the Broncos on Sunday afternoon in South Florida, and absolutely humiliating Sean Payton and Russell Wilson while dropping Denver to 0-3.
Listing the records Miami set/broke/was involved with Rams), Miami became the second team in NFL history (along with the 2004 Chiefs) to have multiple players with four touchdowns (Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane), the Dolphins now have the most total yards through three games in NFL history (1,651) and the second-most points (130) through three weeks in NFL history.but here some highlights: the Dolphins posted the second-most yards in NFL history (726, behind only the 1951
Tua Tagovailoa -- already the consensus MVP favorite, now a no-brainer top choice -- finished the day with more touchdowns (four) than incompletions (three). And for an added bonus, the Dolphins and Broncos . Obviously the performance .
We can briefly touch on the Broncos here, because they're 0-3 and while Russ hasn't looked great for a decent portion of the season, the bigger problem is the defense. Miami's offense is electric, but they just gave up SEVENTY POINTS. The only NFL fan I know who remembers seeing 70 points scored in a game is my colleague Pete Prisco and he's older than the Crypt Keeper.
Payton ripping Nathaniel Hackett's work last year as "one of the worst coaching jobs in NFL history" doesn't look so hot when he's 0-3 and sporting a -53 point differential through three weeks. He was understandably testy postgame, calling the game "embarrassing" and "tough to watch" before snapping on a reporter who followed up with questions about the "historically embarrassing" effort. This game might be indicative of Payton putting a target on his back, honestly. Or maybe McDaniel just wanted revenge on his first NFL employer.
Regardless of the reason for the outburst, it's far more interesting to focus in on the Dolphins than it is Denver. After all, 70 points is historic, as noted above, but it also doesn't feel random. Doing it without Jaylen Waddle is particularly impressive, but the guys largely involved in this offensive explosion all have pretty good pedigrees or history in McDaniel's system.
Tyreek Hill -- who , including a first-rounder -- "only" finished with 157 receiving yards and "just" one touchdown. Tua, the former No. 6 overall selection by Miami, went 23 of 26 for 306 yards and four tuddies and continued to make his case for a massive contract. Mostert once ran for 200+ yards in an NFC Championship Game while working with McDaniel in San Francisco. Achane, who ran for 203 yards on Sunday, was a third-round pick in this year's draft.
What do those guys have in common? Well, they were high-level investments for Miami for one. For two: SPEED. What makes the Dolphins so scary isn't just the host of weapons Tua's got at his disposal, but how they're deployed by McDaniel, their ability to jailbreak a touchdown at any given moment and how repeatable these massive offensive performances can be with this personnel and coaching, at least when Tua is on the field.
Achane correctly called the scoring "video game numbers" and McDaniel noted that "points don't carry over" when asked what kind of lessons the Dolphins could learn from scoring that many points, before adding Sunday was "a meaningful game for a lot of guys to understand to not let an opportunity on the field together slip through your fingers in any way shape or form."
Feel free to apply all the caveats you want (it's a long season, we're three games in, etc., etc.) but Miami's offense looks like the best in the league by a pretty good margin right now. Tua's MVP campaign is legit and defensive coordinators are going to spend sleepless Saturdays thinking about ways to stop the myriad of weapons at McDaniel's disposal.
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Patrick Mahomes hurt his ankle when Yannick Ngakoue rolled up on him after a pass attempt and it was legitimately the second most important thing happening at Arrowhead Stadium thanks to Swift's presence in Kelce's luxury box, where she was sitting with Travis' MOTHER.
The Chiefs obliterated the Bears and Mahomes looks fine; if he was actually hurt it would be bigger, I'm mostly joking. In fact a score by Kelce pushed the Chiefs lead to 41-0, making Swift's reaction and the status of Kelce and Swift the only thing anyone cared about with this game.
Her specific reaction to the Kelce touchdown was awesome, with Swift screaming "Let's f---ing go!" and pounding on the glass in the luxury box.
The Chiefs tight end famously tried to take a bracelet to her show at Arrowhead with his number on it so he could pass it along to her. Everyone assumed he struck out but rumors started percolating about them last week and her presence in the box confirms the obvious.
Kelce and Swift are not exactly the couple you'd expect to see. Kelce's a goofball jock and Swift seems like a super-introspective singer.
But maybe we should hold off on making any assumptions about the combo -- it's very easy to pass judgment about two people's relationship when you're not inside the relationship. We assume it's just some silly celebrity coupling, but maybe the two of them found out they've got a lot in common. Maybe he makes her laugh and vice versa. Maybe they like to sit around and goof troop with each other and hours feel like minutes.
The point being, I am ALL IN on this Kelce-Swift relationship. But someone really needs to warn the singer she could end up going on double dates with Mahomes' wife and brother before she really commits. Or don't -- it will only make the break-up album that much better.