Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins began their season with a dramatic 36-34 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, overcoming early turnovers to begin their 2023 campaign at 1-0.
In a game that featured seven lead changes, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins prevailed on a 4-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill with 1:45 remaining, combined with one final stand from the Miami defense.
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On Sunday, the Dolphins marched all the way to the Los Angeles 2 in the game’s first possession but came up empty after a fumble. Tagovailoa then threw an interception in the end zone in team’s first possession of the second half, but the Dolphins ultimately came out on top, thanks to an electrifying connection between Tagovailoa and Hill, who caught 11 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Tagovailoa completed 28 of his 45 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns, coming up just three yards shy of his career high. The Ewa Beach native and Saint Louis alumnus showed vast improvement from his previous meeting against the Chargers and exited the game healthy.
Next up for Miami is a visit to Foxborough for a Sunday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, which kicks off on Sept. 17 at 2:20 p.m. HST.
Below are how other players with Hawaii ties fared during Week 1 of the NFL season:
Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, offensive lineman, Baltimore Ravens (Keaau): Aumavae-Laulu was ruled inactive prior to the team’s 25-9 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
DeForest Buckner, defensive tackle, Indianapolis Colts (Punahou): Buckner had seven tackles (four solo), including a sack and a 26-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in a 31-21 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ka’imi Fairbairn, kicker, Houston Texans (Punahou): Fairbairn made all three of his field goal attempts and did all of the scoring for the Texans in a 25-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Alohi Gilman, safety, Los Angeles Chargers (Kahuku): Gilman had a team-high 11 tackles (nine solo) against the Dolphins.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker, Carolina Panthers (Kamehameha): Grugier-Hill was active but did not accumulate any statistics in a 24-10 loss against the Atlanta Falcons.
Nate Herbig, guard, Pittsburgh Steelers (Saint Louis): Herbig served as a backup in the team’s 30-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Nick Herbig, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers (Saint Louis): Herbig made a tackle in his NFL debut.
Andrei Iosivas, receiver, Cincinnati Bengals (Punahou): Iosivas was active but did not accrue any statistics in a 24-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Keith Kirkwood, receiver, New Orleans Saints (University of Hawaii): Kirkwood received a target but did not make any receptions in the team’s 16-15 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Ilm Manning, offensive lineman, Arizona Cardinals (University of Hawaii): Manning was ruled inactive prior to the team’s 20-16 loss to the Washington Commanders.
Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles (Saint Louis): Mariota was active but did not play in a 25-20 win over the New England Patriots.
Rigoberto Sanchez, punter, Indianapolis Colts (University of Hawaii): In his first game in over a year, Sanchez punted five times for 208 yards. He tore his achilles prior to the 2022 campaign and missed the entire year.
Isaac Seumalo, offensive lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers (born in Hawaii): Seumalo started at left guard against the 49ers.
Jahlani Tavai, linebacker, New England Patriots (University of Hawaii): Tavai had four tackles (one solo) and a quarterback hit in a 25-20 loss to the Eagles.