The Miami Dolphins have had a spectacular start to the 2023 season, currently standing at a record of 3-0. Their most recent victory, a historic 70-20 defeat of the Denver Broncos, has propelled the Dolphins' offense to a remarkable pace that could potentially place them among the greatest offenses in NFL history.
Miami's 130 points scored in the first three games of the season rank second all-time, just two points behind the 1968 Dallas Cowboys. Additionally, their 726 total yards against the Broncos stand as the second-highest single-game yardage in NFL history, falling just nine yards short of a record from 1951.
The Dolphins achieved various remarkable feats in their dominant victory. They became only the fourth team in NFL history, including playoffs, to score 70 points in a single game. Running backs Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane also made history, becoming the second pair of teammates to achieve four scrimmage touchdowns each in the same game. The only other duo to accomplish this feat was Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock during a 2004 game.
What sets the Dolphins apart, however, is their unique performance against the Broncos in Week 3. They became the only team in the Super Bowl era to have five rushing touchdowns and five passing touchdowns in a single game. Peyton Manning's 2013 Broncos still hold the records for the most points and touchdowns scored in a single season, with over 600 points and 70 touchdowns on offense. However, if Miami can maintain their current level of play, these records may soon be within reach.
Before Manning's Broncos, the New Orleans Saints led by Drew Brees held many offensive records. They still hold the record for the highest average of total scrimmage yards per game with 477. Yet, the Dolphins have surpassed that mark by averaging 75 more yards per game so far this season.
Brees also set the record for single-season passing yards with 5,476, but Manning broke that mark by just one yard two years later. Miami's quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, has a chance to shatter that record if he continues his current performance, as he is currently on pace to surpass 5,800 passing yards.
The 2023 Dolphins share similarities with other great offenses from the past. The New England Patriots, famously known for their almost perfect 2007 season, combined a dominant defense with an explosive offense led by Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and innovative schemes that revolutionized the passing game. They shattered numerous scoring records, including the largest point differential in league history, with a remarkable +315.
The Dolphins' own offensive prowess may be reminiscent of those Patriots. They acquired superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is their version of Moss, and their head coach, Mike McDaniel, is displaying genius in disguising formations and routes to maximize their playmakers' potential.
Another noteworthy offense of the past is the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" in 1999. Led by unexpected stars like Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk, the Rams achieved a +284 point differential, second only to the 2007 Patriots in the Super Bowl era. Faulk's 1,048 receiving yards remain the most by a running back in a single season during the Super Bowl era. While the Dolphins' running backs may not reach that mark, Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane demonstrated their importance to Miami's offensive success with their eight combined touchdowns.
In 1998, the Minnesota Vikings burst onto the scene with a rookie Randy Moss complementing an already potent offense. The Vikings became the first team since 1983 to score over 500 points in a season and boasted the sixth-highest single-season average of 34.8 points per game since 1966. The current Dolphins team shares similarities with the Vikings, with veteran-rookie tandems and a left-handed quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, providing a unique challenge for defenses.
As the 2023 season progresses, the Dolphins' offense shows tremendous potential to rewrite the NFL record books. Their explosive performances have placed them in historic company and have fans eagerly anticipating how far they can go.