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Tua Tagovailoa’s TD pass, turnover by Xavien Howard lift Miami Dolphins over New England Patriots, 17-16

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tua Tagovailoa threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle in the third quarter and Xavien Howard recovered a fumble with New England driving in the fourth to help the Miami Dolphins hold on for a 17-16 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

It was Miami’s second straight win over the Patriots. Tagovailoa also led the Dolphins to a win in the second meeting between the teams last season.

Tagovailoa finished 16 of 27 for 202 yards, a touchdown and one interception, and also had a 3-yard TD run to lead a revamped offense that kept the Patriots’ rebuilt defense guessing, mixing in no-huddle and empty backfield formations. DeVante Parker caught four passes for 81 yards.

Miami’s win spoiled the debut of New England’s Mac Jones, who became the first rookie quarterback to start for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993. Jones was 29 of 39 for 281 yards and a touchdown. Damien Harris rushed 23 times for 100 yards, but had the costly fumble to end New England’s comeback hopes.

Miami took a 17-10 lead in the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa to Waddle.

The Patriots cut it to 17-13 in the fourth when they ate up more than five minutes of the clock to drive inside the Dolphins 15. But it stalled there and Nick Folk’s third field goal made it 17-16 with 10:36 left.

On their ensuing drive, the Dolphins were facing third-and-7 on their own 43 when Tagovailoa was flushed out of the pocket and heaved a pass toward the sideline. The ball was tipped and intercepted by Jonathan Jones, giving the ball back to the Patriots at midfield with just over eight minutes remaining.

New England moved all the way to the Miami 11. But on the next play, a 2-yard run by Harris ended with him losing the ball on a hit by Howard. Howard recovered it and the Dolphins took over on their own 9. They were able to run out the clock.

Tagovailoa completed several deep passes on the Patriots secondary, taking advantage of the absence of cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of Year started the season on the physically unable to perform list and will miss at least the first six games.

Jones was efficient for most of the game, spreading the ball around to multiple receivers and finding soft spots in the Miami defense for chunk plays. Penalties hurt the Patriots, though, negating big gains and forcing the offense to settle for field goals.

Both offenses had early success moving the ball, but the Dolphins got on the scoreboard first.

Harris had the first big play of the day, slipping through a big hole in middle of Miami’s defense on the game’s opening snap for a 35-yard gain.

It was one of four straight running plays by New England before Jones dropped back to pass for the first time. The play ended with him forcing an awkward throw behind the line of scrimmage that was batted to the turf by Christian Wilkins. The ball rolled free before being recovered by Jonnu Smith for a loss of 9 yards. New England punted two plays later.

Miami took over and mixed in some short passes by Tagovailoa and runs by Myles Gaskin to quickly get into the red zone.

The 10-play, 80-yard drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Tagovailoa to help put Miami in front 7-0.

INJURIES

Dolphins: DT Raekwon Davis limped off early in the first quarter with a knee injury.

Patriots: OT Trent Brown left in the first quarter with a right calf injury.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: Host Buffalo next Sunday.

Patriots: Visit the New York Jets next Sunday.

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Miami Dolphins fans ranked least rowdy fan base in the NFL

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.  As more and more fans pack NFL stadiums across the country thanks to lessened COVID-19 restrictions, America seems to be embracing the return of parking lot tailgates, and, yes, “rowdy fans.”

However, it seems a South Florida team’s fanbase is lacking in that department.

According to a new survey by Bookies, Miami Dolphins fans rank as the least rowdy fan base in football.

Read more from ABC Miami.

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Miami Dolphins lose fifth straight game, 23-20, to drop to 1-5; Jacksonville Jaguars end 20-game skid with 53-yard FG for London win

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LONDON, U.K. — The Jacksonville Jaguars ended their 20-game losing streak when Matthew Wright kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired in a 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in London.

Trevor Lawrence connected on a short slant pass to Laviska Shenault Jr. and the Jags (1-5) called timeout with 1 second remaining after the Dolphins (1-5) gambled on a fourth-and-1 from their 46 and came up short.

Lawrence threw for 319 yards and a touchdown as he and coach Urban Meyer finally earned their first NFL victories — even if it required a trip to Europe to get it done in a “home” game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Dolphins lost their fifth consecutive game, spoiling the return of Tua Tagovailoa, who made his first start in a month. The second-year quarterback threw two touchdown passes to Jaylen Waddle.

Wright had tied the game at 20 on a 54-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining.

The Dolphins took a 20-17 lead when Tagovailoa finished a seven-play, 91-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Waddle with 10:22 left in the game. Waddle caught the ball and stuck it over the goal line as cornerback Nevin Lawson tackled him.

Jacksonville grabbed a 17-13 lead early in the third quarter on James Robinson’s 1-yard run after he rumbled 24 yards on the previous play. The drive included a 29-yard reception by Jamal Agnew and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Miami safety Jevon Holland.

Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense started hot, scoring on their first drive, but squandering two other chances from inside the Jacksonville 10, settling for field goals both times.

On the opening drive, Tagovailoa completed eight of 10 passes and finished a 75-yard opening drive with a 6-yard slant to Jaylen Waddle to put Miami ahead 7-0. They converted three third downs including a 20-yard reception by tight end Mike Gesicki and Tagovailoa’s 7-yard scramble to the 6, setting up Waddle’s touchdown.

The Jaguars answered with big plays of their own, when Lawrence connected with Agnew for a 24-yard gain on their first play from scrimmage. The drive stalled, though, when Dan Arnold dropped a third-down pass at the 16-yard line. The Jags settled for a 40-yard field goal from Matthew Wright — their first field goal of the season — to make it 7-3.

After field goals of 33 and 24 yards by Jason Sanders, the Jaguars forced a three-and-out and got the ball back on the Miami 49 with 1:45 left in half, down 13-3.

Lawrence then finally exploited Miami’s depleted secondary, launching a perfect pass to Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone for a 28-yard TD pass with backup cornerback Noah Igbinoghene in coverage to make the score 13-10 with 40 seconds left in the half.

Miami played without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, who were both out injured.

STREAKY

Before Sunday, the Jags hadn’t won a game since beating Indianapolis 27-20 in the 2020 season opener, when Gardner Minshew threw three TD passes. The 20-game losing streak is the second-longest in the Super Bowl era.

Jacksonville’s win also snapped the London hex on rookie quarterbacks, who had been 0-5 since the NFL started staging regular-season games in England’s capital in 2007.

Now, it’s the Dolphins racking up losses. They haven’t won since beating New England in the season opener, back when Miami was considered a possible playoff team after a 10-6 season in 2020.

Miami is the only one of the four teams that played in London to not get a bye the following week.

REMATCH

Sunday’s game featured a rematch of quarterbacks from the College Football Playoff national championship game from the 2018 season. Lawrence and Clemson beat Tagovailoa and Alabama 44-16.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: host Atlanta on Oct. 24.

Jaguars: bye week, then at the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 31.

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Miami Hurricanes nearly pull off comeback, fall short to Sam Howell’s 4 TDs and North Carolina, 45-42

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sam Howell threw two touchdowns and ran for two more as North Carolina held off Miami, 45-42, sending the Hurricanes to their worst record at the midway mark of a season in more than two decades.

Miami was in position to tie or win when reaching the North Carolina 16-yard line in the final minute, but linebacker Cedric Gray intercepted a tipped pass with 6 seconds left.

Ty Chandler ran for two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (4-3 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) in a matchup of two teams that began the season in the Top 15, but are trying to gain traction midway through the season.

The Hurricanes (2-4, 0-2) are 2-4 for the first time since 1997 when they were on NCAA probation and stuck with scholarship limitations.

Howell was 17 for 26 for 154 yards in the air with an interception while running for 98 yards on 17 carries. Chandler gained 104 yards on the ground on 18 attempts.

Howell’s touchdown runs covered 30 and 11 yards, both times pinballing off Miami defenders.

Miami nearly erased an 18-point deficit, pulling within 38-34 before stalling in North Carolina territory early in the fourth quarter. Then the Tar Heels drove 58 yards for a touchdown, aided by 30 yards on Miami penalties.

Freshman Jaylan Knight ran for two Miami touchdowns, including a 4-yard run to cap a 97-yard drive with 3:08 remaining that was followed by a successful two-point conversion pass play.

The Hurricanes, after using all their timeouts, regained possession at the 2:46 mark and picked up 56 yards before the interception.

Miami used Tyler Van Dyke, who made his third career starter and first away from home, at quarterback just days after it was announced that D’Eriq King would be lost to season-ending shoulder surgery.

Van Dyke, who was 5 for 15 and picked off twice in the first half, finished 20 for 45 with 264 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Miami’s first points came on Jahfari Harvey’s 33-yard return with a first-quarter interception.

THE TAKEAWAY

Miami: The Hurricanes don’t seem equipped to overcome much adversity and they encountered more of it in their first true road game of the season. Miami lost team rushing and scoring leader Cam’Ron Harris to a lower-body injury on the first drive of the second half.

North Carolina: Receiver Josh Downs has scored on a touchdown reception in every game this season, including the team’s first TD on a 45-yard play Saturday. He has an eight game TD streak dating to last season. He made 10 of his 11 receptions in the first half, ending up with 96 yards.

UP NEXT

Miami is home against No. 22 North Carolina State on Saturday.

North Carolina has a bye week before traveling to Notre Dame on Oct. 30.

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