The Miami Dolphins delivered a historic blowout to the Denver Broncos on Sunday and were candid afterward, with some members of their offense saying they thought the Broncos “quit” during the second half of the 70-20 destruction.
Dolphins offensive players told me they felt many of Broncos defenders quit starting in the 3rd quarter of Miami’s 70-20 win.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 25, 2023
“I was talking actually in the Dolphins locker room to some of the offensive linemen, and they said they thought the Broncos quit around the middle of the third quarter,” NFL insider Cameron Wolfe said. “They said they felt there was a moment where they felt the defense quit.”
The Dolphins gained 350 rushing yards among their 726 total yards against the Broncos defense. Miami running back Raheem Mostert scored three of his four total touchdowns on the ground, and fellow back De’Von Achane had two rushing scores among his four total touchdowns.
The Broncos trailed 35-13 at halftime and 56-13 one play into the fourth quarter. Many Miami starters, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, were pulled from the game early.
“Literally one of the offensive linemen said they (the Broncos) looked like the team that was ready to get back on the plane, middle of the third quarter,” Wolfe said. “And when you start having that type of mentality, especially on the defensive side of the ball, then there has to be changes.”
The Dolphins set a franchise scoring record and put up the most points in a game by an NFL team since 1966, falling just shy of the league’s regular season record. Miami is the fourth team to score at least 70 points in a regular season or playoff game.
Now 3-0 for a second consecutive season, the Dolphins have established themselves as legitimate Super Bowl contenders with an AFC East showdown against the Buffalo Bills looming this Sunday.
Tagovailoa was injured in a Week 4 game last season, and the Dolphins lost that game as well as the following two to fall to .500. They finished the season 9-8 and lost to the Bills in the first round of the playoffs.
The 25-year-old is off to an incredible start this season, with 1,024 passing yards and eight touchdown passes in the three games. The Dolphins have outscored their opponents 130-71 and are averaging 550.3 yards per game, more than 130 yards better than the next team (Los Angeles Chargers, 416.7 yards per game).
Denver is now 0-3 in its first season with head coach Sean Payton and second campaign with quarterback Russell Wilson. The Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after a 4-11 start last season, his only one with the team.
The Dolphins did not seem to be blatantly running up the score on Sunday, but if the opposition does not put up a full level of resistance, it can be hard to stop more touchdowns from coming.