GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Miami rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in his second NFL start and the Dolphins rallied in the fourth quarter for a 34-31 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Miami (5-3) has won four straight games. The Cardinals (5-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped.
The 22-year-old Tagovailoa was on the winning end of an action-packed duel with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, who finished with 283 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 106 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Arizona’s Zane Gonzalez was short on a 49-yard field goal attempt that would have tied the game with 1:53 left.
Tagovailoa was much more productive in his second start after throwing for just 93 yards against the Rams last week. He showed great poise during two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. The left-hander also made some plays with his feet, extending drives with scrambles. He finished with 35 yards rushing.
Miami had a 24-17 halftime lead but Arizona tied the game at 24 early in the third quarter on Murray’s 21-yard pass to tight end Darrell Daniels, who snatched the ball away from cornerback Byron Jones as the two tumbled to the ground in the end zone.
The Cardinals pushed ahead 31-24 late in the third quarter on Murray’s 12-yard run. It was the seventh time in eight games the quarterback has thrown and run for at least one touchdown.
But the Dolphins and Tagovailoa fought back on the next series, delivering an impressive 10-play, 93-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins. Miami pushed ahead 34-31 with 3:30 left on a 50-yard field goal by Jason Sanders.
Miami came in allowing the fewest points per game in the NFL and the defense supplied seven of its own in the first quarter. Murray was scrambling on third down when Emmanuel Ogbah smacked the ball out of his hands. Shaq Lawson scooped up the fumble and ran 36 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Murray played much better after that costly miscue, throwing for 151 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 52 yards in the first half.
Sanders made a 56-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to give the Dolphins a 24-17 halftime lead. It was the longest field goal of his three-year pro career.
Sanders has made 20 consecutive field goals, a franchise record.
The Dolphins had five assistant coaches unavailable on Sunday because of COVID-19 protocols.
They were defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander, quarterbacks coach Robby Brown, outside linebackers coach Austin Clark, defensive line coach Marion Hobby and quality control coach Kolby Smith.
Dolphins: WR Preston Williams (foot) left the game in the second quarter and didn’t return. … TE Durham Smythe was evaluated for a concussion in the second half.
Cardinals: CB Kevin Peterson left the game early in the second quarter for a concussion evaluation and didn’t return. Arizona was already playing without starting CB Dre Kirkpatrick, inactive with a thigh injury.
Dolphins: return home to host the Chargers next Sunday.
Cardinals: host the Bills next Sunday.