This will be a week of debate on what the Miami Dolphins’ ceiling is now after coming back from a three-touchdown deficit twice, including early in the fourth quarter, to a very good Ravens team for a 42-38 win in Baltimore.

The Dolphins were already expected to be in contention for a playoff berth. Can they compete in the conference? Are they now up there with the top dogs in the AFC after the stunning road win?

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a game unlike anything that has ever been seen from him professionally. His 469 passing yards bested his previous career high by more than 100 yards. His six touchdowns were two more than his previous best and tied Bob Griese and Dan Marino for franchise records. Four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter tied an NFL mark.

The Dolphins showed remarkable resiliency as the 21-point comeback was the franchise’s largest on the road and second-largest overall. Miami was the first team in 12 years to come back from down 21 in the fourth quarter, with the last 711 teams to face such deficits losing, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

We have now seen Tagovailoa, throwing to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, pull off a comeback of such proportions, granting confidence this team can win a shootout if necessary. Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ more conventional style of winning will be to lean on the defense while counting on the run game and short passing game plus an occasional deep shot. Maybe they can do both.

It doesn’t get easier next Sunday as the Dolphins host the Super Bowl-favorite and AFC East-rival Bills. In the next big challenge, Miami can either prove it belongs with Buffalo or get humbled back to where it was before Sunday’s thriller.

Passing game: A

What else is there to grade the passing game in a historic performance? Tagovailoa was 36 of 50, and he found Hill and Waddle for 11 receptions and two touchdowns each. Hill had 190 receiving yards and Waddle 171 in the case and point of how dangerous Miami’s offense is with the two complementing each other. Opponents simply cannot defend either 1-on-1 – or 1-on-0 for that matter, like on Hill’s tying touchdown where the Ravens watched him streak free deep.

Coach Mike McDaniel wanted to get Waddle more looks, and Tagovailoa targeted him a whopping 19 times. Tight end …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Dolphins grades, stock up, stock down for thrilling comeback victory over Ravens

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