Why the Dolphins Chose Not to Break the NFL Score Record


The Miami Dolphins are off to a strong start for the 2023–24 football season. With Tua Tagovailoa as quarterback and head coach Mike McDaniel at the helm, the team has yet to lose a game this season and are currently enjoying a three-game win streak. 

In their latest matchup against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 24, the Dolphins came close to breaking the NFL’s record for most points scored in a single game, but ultimately opted not to write their names in the history books. With 33 seconds left in the game and a golden opportunity to kick a field goal for a new record, backup QB Mike White took a knee to run out the clock. 

It was a decision that the team and McDaniel agreed on. “It felt like chasing points and chasing a record,” McDaniel admitted after the game. “That’s not what we came here to do…. 10 times out of 10 you concede and kneel down in those situations.”

“There was an attainable record. That was cool. But the message that I thought it would send wasn’t really in line with how I view things,” he added. He acknowledged that his decision would raise some eyebrows, but he was at peace with the team’s choice. “I will be fine getting second-guessed by turning down NFL records,” the head coach said after the game. “That’s fine. I’m very OK with the decision. And I think the team, notably the leaders of the team, supported it.”

The NFL record for points scored in one game belongs to the Chicago Bears, who won 73-0 over Washington in the 1940 NFL Championship game. The regular season record is 72 points set by Washington against the New York Giants in 1966. The Dolphins’ triumph on Sunday ties them with the Los Angeles Rams, who scored 70 points against the Baltimore Colts in 1950. 

Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on not kicking a field goal for NFL record-73 points.

“It felt like chasing points, chasing a record is not what we came here to do… 10 times out of 10 you concede and kneel down.”

McDaniel later said that’s karma and we want good karma for Dolphins. pic.twitter.com/GCqXwmAoar

— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 24, 2023

Star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a similar thought process to McDaniel. “I think in this league and around the league, it’s about respect in the NFL,” he said. “As we went out there, I feel like that’s what we got, we got respect. We’re not trying to go out there and humiliate teams, that’s just what it happened to look like.” Still, the journey to 70 points was a huge feat that showed Tagovailoa just how special his teammates are. 

“This doesn’t compare to anything that I’ve seen or been a part of,” the 25-year-old confessed. “It just talks about the resilience of our team. Although we were up going into halftime, I’m very proud of the guys and the way they continued to play. No one took their foot off the gas, everyone continued to play and that’s the result that we got.”

Only time will tell if the Dolphins’ success will hold up throughout the season. 

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