Dolphins’ Tagovailoa wins first career NFL start

Dolphins’ Tagovailoa wins first career NFL start

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa walked off the field with a wide smile as his first NFL start ended with a comfortable 28-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Tagovailoa threw his first NFL touchdown, a tight-window, goal-line slant to wide receiver DeVante Parker, then he largely took a step back as his dominant defense and special-teams units carried the offense the rest of the way for a convincing victory.

Following a week in which all the talk was about Tagovailoa, the Dolphins’ defense forced Rams quarterback Jared Goff into four first-half turnovers, including one for a defensive touchdown, and speedy punt returner Jakeem Grant scored an 88-yard touchdown. It was a historic day of sorts for the Dolphins, who had a passing, rushing, special-teams and defensive TD in a game for the first time since Oct. 24, 1993, against the Indianapolis Colts.

“I don’t think I played to the standard of what this offense is capable of. There were certain plays where I could have stepped up and made the right throw, made the right decision. But it’s good that we still came out with the win,” Tagovailoa said. “Thank God we’ve got a good defense.”

Goff might have nightmares about Miami coach Brian Flores’ defense. The Dolphins pressured Goff on 21 of his 63 dropbacks (33%), tied for the highest percentage he has faced in a game this season (Chicago Bears in Week 7). Goff was 6-of-19 with two interceptions when under duress. The 19 attempts were tied for the most such attempts in a game in his career (Week 16 of 2019 versus the San Francisco 49ers).

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