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Tua Tagovailoa throws 3 TD passes to rally Dolphins past Panthers 42-21

Dolphins score 35 unanswered points after trailing Carolina early
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa throws in second half vs. Carolina Panthers, Oct. 15, 2023
Posted at 5:21 PM, Oct 15, 2023

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tua Tagovailoa threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers and sparked the Miami Dolphins to a 42-21 comeback victory over the winless Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Tagovailoa was 21 of 31 for 262 yards and has an NFL-leading 1,876 yards passing this season.

After Miami (5-1) fell into an early 14-point hole, Tyreek Hill flipped the lead back in the Dolphins' favor with a 41-yard touchdown catch late in the second quarter. He celebrated by grabbing someone's phone near the end zone and recording himself doing a backflip — he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for the second straight game.

Hill caught six passes for 163 yards to bring his NFL-leading season total to 814 yards receiving. Jaylen Waddle added 51 yards on seven catches.

Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill catches pass for TD vs. Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson, Oct. 15, 2023
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill grabs a pass for a touchdown as Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson is late with the tackle during the first half Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Miami scored 35 straight points before Mike White replaced Tagovailoa with about four minutes left and threw an interception that was returned by cornerback Troy Hill for a touchdown.

The play brought Carolina within 14, but Salvon Ahmed scored on a 9-yard run to give Miami, the NFL’s leading rushing team, 169 yards rushing for the day.

The Panthers (0-6) took advantage of an uncharacteristically slow Dolphins start with a 6-yard rushing touchdown by Chuba Hubbard in the opening quarter. Then, Adam Thielen caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Young.

Young finished 23 of 38 with 217 yards and was sacked four times.

Thielen topped 100 yards receiving for the second straight game with 115 yards on 11 catches. Hubbard, starting for the injured Miles Sanders (shoulder) had 19 rushes for 88 yards.

After going three-and-out on their first two drives, the Dolphins scored touchdowns on their next three.

Raheem Mostert had a 3-yard touchdown catch that cut the early deficit in half — set up by catches of 27 and 14 yards by Hill and Waddle, respectively.

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert celebrates after scoring TD vs. Carolina Panthers with offensive lineman Austin Jackson, receiver Jaylen Waddle, offensive lineman Robert Hunt and receiver Braxton Berrios, Oct. 15, 2023
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrates scoring a touchdown with offensive lineman Austin Jackson (73), wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17), offensive lineman Robert Hunt (68) and wide receiver Braxton Berrios (0) as they dance in the end zone against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Mostert had 17 carries for 115 yards, including a 48-yard run in the second quarter that set up the tying TD catch by Waddle.

Mostert took over as Miami's lead ball carrier after rookie De'Von Achane was placed on injured reserve last week with a knee injury. He also had rushing scores of 1 and 4 yards for his fourth multiple-touchdown game of the season.

Carolina's Eddy Pineiro missed a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter.