The 3rd NFL game day
Historic Dolphins! Historical kicker! The tree is burning in Denver
Sean Payton wanted to lift up the Broncos, and some even thought a playoff run under the new coach was likely – but then Tua came along and went ouch. 70 to 20, can that be? Our columnists count the points again in amazement.
By Mona Stevens and Anja Driver
The fact that the Miami Dolphins’ offense is dangerous has already been apparent in the first two weeks of the season. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is surrounded by a variety of players who can turn every play into a big play. Above all, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who can reach speeds of up to 37 km/h on the field. Yesterday the Denver Broncos were able to marvel at the superiority of the Dolphins, Sean Payton’s team had to admit defeat with a score of 70 to 20. Miami scores ten touchdowns. Ten! A value that is in the NFL has not been achieved in 57 years.
The Broncos defense looked athletically inferior throughout the game. They lost sight of their opponents on both passing plays and runs and were so surprised by the Dolphins’ moves that they didn’t even touch the receivers and running backs on the way to the end zone. It was really nice to see the astonished looks from the scorers, who themselves couldn’t believe how easy it was against this porous defense.
Even more embarrassing – is that even possible? – will be the result for the Broncos, considering that the Dolphins were unable to use all of their regular players due to injuries. But even rookie running back De’Von Achane, playing in only his second NFL game ever, scored four touchdowns. And backup quarterback Mike White, who came in for Tua in the fourth quarter, easily threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to backup receiver Robbie Chosen.
In the end, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel probably felt sorry for him and took a knee on the final play instead of kicking the field goal for the NFL’s sole points record. The Dolphins are making a big exclamation mark and must now be considered one of the favorites for the Superbowl. After the debacle and the third defeat in a row, the Broncos’ defense around coordinator Vance Joseph will have to face critical words, and there is nothing left of the pre-season euphoria surrounding coach Sean Payton.
The player of the matchday:
The life of an NFL kicker seems like a dream at first glance: in the preparation camps you don’t have to do too many sweaty sessions in the weight room, during the game you are rarely tackled and when you get on the field, all you have to do is put the ball between the 5th .64 meter wide bars of the field goal frame. All this for an average salary of around one million US dollars per season.
Sounds easy, right? But it’s not: from a distance of 40 or more meters, the kicker is usually called onto the field on the fourth attempt to help his team score 3 points. The team should only need 1.3 seconds to snap the ball, position it on the turf and execute the kick to avoid the risk of a block. The most difficult thing is not necessarily the perfectly rehearsed process, but the mental pressure that, similar to a penalty in football, rests on the kicker. Justin Tucker, superstar of the Baltimore Ravens, currently holds the record for the longest field goal with 66 yards, i.e. around 60 meters.
Yesterday, however, another kicker entered the NFL history books: Matt Gay of the Indianapolis Colts became the first player to has ever converted four field goals from over 50 yards in a single game. Thanks to him, the Colts won 22 to 19 in injury time against the Baltimore Ravens, exactly: Justin Tucker.