Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa registers perfect passer rating over three scoring drives in preseason finale – The Mercury News

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa registers perfect passer rating over three scoring drives in preseason finale – The Mercury News

It turned out the preseason finale was the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the Miami Dolphins in the exhibition season.

And they nailed it — from the opening play.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit star receiver Tyreek Hill deep for 51 yards en route to recording a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Tagovailoa was 6 of 7 for 121 yards and a touchdown later in the opening series.

With most starters on offense and defense getting three series, reserves fighting for roster spots then took over as the Dolphins won, 48-10, over the Philadelphia Eagles with third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson throwing three touchdown passes in the second half.

Tagovailoa led three scoring drives, throwing his one touchdown to River Cracraft, having his third series end in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by running back Sony Michel and his second one result in a 55-yard field goal from Jason Sanders.

While Tagovailoa had Hill, who had two receptions for 64 yards, for the first drive, he also had his night without prized free-agent left tackle Terron Armstead or standout second-year wideout Jaylen Waddle. The Eagles mostly rested their starters on Saturday.

The Dolphins also got the run game going, even as Chase Edmonds sat out the exhibition. Mostert, Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed combined for 98 first-half yards on the ground on 12 attempts.

Starting with a 17-0 lead, defensive back Elijah Campbell, a player on the edge of the active roster cutoff line, had a 30-yard pick-six in the second quarter against former Dolphins third-string quarterback Reid Sinnett.

Miami added a 27-yard field goal from Sanders with 18 seconds left before halftime on a Teddy Bridgewater-led drive where tight end Hunter Long had a potential touchdown catch punched out by an Eagles defender. Long would’ve been called for offensive pass interference anyway if it was ruled a touchdown catch.

Bridgewater went 4 of 10 for 74 yards. As the Dolphins led the Eagles, 27-0, at halftime, Cracraft saw plenty of action, making four catches on seven targets for 54 yards and the early touchdown.

Thompson, making a case this preseason for the Dolphins to keep a third quarterback, threw a pair of short third-quarter touchdowns near opposite pylons to reserve tight ends — first a 6-yard connection to Long and then a 4-yarder to Cethan Carter.

In the fourth quarter, Thompson, after a fumbled snap exchange and fake pitch, rolled right to find Lynn Bowden short for a 39-yard touchdown, mostly on the run after catch. Thompson went 7 of 10 for 103 yards and the three touchdowns.

The Eagles scored on a 67-yard touchdown run by tailback Jason Huntley where rookie linebacker Channing Tindall, a 2022 third-round pick, missed a tackle near the line of scrimmage to spring him. Cornerback Elijah Hamilton then couldn’t get Huntley out of bounds as he scampered up the sideline.

Tindall had a sack on Saturday, as did fellow linebacker Sam Eguavoen, who recorded a team-high eight tackles.

Gerrid Doaks, a 2021 seventh-round pick, ran for 67 yards on 11 second-half carries. Undrafted rookie ZaQuandre White had four carries for 26 yards.

The Dolphins concluded their preseason on Saturday. They now have final roster cuts coming on Tuesday and their regular-season opener in two weeks, on Sept. 11, a home game against the New England Patriots.

This story will be updated.


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