Tua Tagovailoa throws for 3 TDs, Jalen Ramsey shines in Dolphins debut as Miami beats Patriots 31-17

Tua Tagovailoa improves to 6-0 against Patriots in his career
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa hands off ball to running back Raheem Mostert vs. New England Patriots, Oct. 29, 2023
Posted at 5:56 PM, Oct 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-29 18:04:28-04

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tua Tagovailoa threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns, Jalen Ramsey intercepted a pass in his Dolphins debut, and Miami beat the New England Patriots 31-17 on Sunday.

Miami won for the 16th time in its past 18 home games, and Tagovailoa moved to 6-0 in his career against Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The Dolphins, 6-2 for the first time since 2001, have a one-game lead over Buffalo for the AFC East lead.

Tagovailoa completed 30 of 45 passes and moved his league-leading yardage total to 2,416. Jaylen Waddle had seven catches for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Tyreek Hill had eight receptions for 112 yards and a score, becoming the first player in the Super Bowl era to top 1,000 receiving yards through eight games.

Mac Jones had another uneven day for the Patriots (2-6), throwing for 161 yards on 19-of-29 passing with two touchdowns and one interception.

The Patriots trailed 24-10 midway through the fourth quarter when they drove inside the Miami 3 and scored on fourth down. Jones connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for the receiver's first touchdown this season to get the Patriots within seven.

The Dolphins responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, and Waddle waltzed into the end zone for an easy 31-yard score.

Ramsey intercepted Jones on a pass intended for Bourne and returned it 49 yards in the second quarter. Ramsey missed the first seven games of the season after having surgery in July to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Miami Dolphins cornerback gestures as he makes debut vs. New England Patriots, Oct. 29, 2023
Miami Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey gestures as he enters the field for his team debut against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Smith-Schuster made a hard hit on Dolphins safety Brandon Jones on the Patriots' final drive as Jones was attempting to come down with an interception. The play resulted in a brief skirmish between the teams near the Patriots' sideline before Miami ran out the clock.

The Dolphins turned the ball over twice, and the Patriots scored both times.

Tagovailoa was sacked on Miami's second drive and threw an interception on the next play, which the Patriots turned into a 7-0 lead when Jones found Kendrick Bourne for a 24-yard touchdown.

Raheem Mostert fumbled at Miami's 19 on the first play of the third quarter with the Dolphins up 17-7. That resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Chad Ryland. Mostert later contributed his NFL-best 10th rushing touchdown of the season — a 1-yard score on Miami's next offensive possession that put the Dolphins ahead 24-10.

Hill, who was limited by a hip injury this week, has made clear his goal to surpass 2,000 receiving yards, and he's more than halfway there at 1,014.

After his 42-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, Hill simply sat on the Dolphins' bench. He had been flagged in Miami's previous two home games for unsportsmanlike conduct for his celebrations.