MIAMI GARDENS (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa threw for 299 yards and the Miami Dolphins raced to a 30-point lead before holding on for their fifth straight win, a 30-15 victory over the one-win Houston Texans on Sunday.
Tagovailoa had his fourth straight game without an interception, Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill each had 85 yards receiving and the Dolphins’ defense had three takeaways in a game that was a 30-point blowout at halftime.
Houston (1-9-1) managed just 32 yards through its first 25 plays with Kyle Allen starting at quarterback in place of benched Davis Mills. The Texans finished with 210 yards of total offense, most of which came in the second half.
Running back Dare Ogunbowale had a 3-yard rushing TD in the third quarter for Houston’s first score, and tight end Jordan Akins had a 25-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter.
Miami (8-3) scored on six of its first seven possessions, and its receivers were wide open in the Houston secondary. Five Dolphins players amassed 20 receiving yards. Waddle had 10 catches and Hill had nine.
In the first quarter, Waddle broke Miami’s franchise record for the most receiving yards (1,926) in the first two seasons of a career. Jarvis Landry, now with New Orleans, previously held the mark.
Allen was 26-of-39 passing with 215 yards and two interceptions.
Standout rookie running back Dameon Pierce was held to eight yards on five carries for Houston, a week after he had just eight in a loss to the Commanders.
Tagovailoa expressed mild concern this week about not wanting their bye week to interrupt the momentum the Dolphins had built during their winning streak, which includes wins over Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland.
Some bye-week rust showed in errant throws and drops, especially early. But Miami’s offense still played well enough that rookie Skylar Thompson entered the game for Tagovailoa late in the third quarter.
Tagovailoa finished 22-of-36 passing with a TD. He now has 11 touchdowns since returning from a concussion in Week 7. Thompson was just 1 for 5 for six yards.
Waddle had a 22-yard catch on the opening drive to set up Miami’s first score — a 45-yard Jason Sanders field goal — and Tagovailoa found tight end Durham Smythe in the end zone later in the quarter to give Miami a 10-0 lead.
Miami added four scores in the second quarter, including two off turnovers.
Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel intercepted Allen deep in Texans territory and returned the ball to the 3-yard line. Running back Jeff Wilson punched it in. In the second quarter, cornerback Xavien Howard returned a fumble, which was forced by safety Eric Rowe, for a touchdown.
The Dolphins punted in the second quarter for the first time since their against the Bears on Nov. 6. It was a rare occurrence in the first half Sunday, as Miami only punted once through its first six possessions.
Miami’s 30-point halftime lead was the Dolphins’ second-largest over the last 30 seasons and the largest first-half lead since they were leading Houston 41-0 on Oct. 25, 2015. It’s the second-largest halftime lead this season behind Cincinnati’s 35-point lead against Carolina on Nov. 6.
Texans: LB Christian Haris (shoulder) left in the first quarter.
Dolphins: LT Terron Armstead left just before halftime with a pectoral injury. … Tyreek Hill left the game with cramps. … RT Austin Jackson, making his first start since suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, left in the second half with an ankle injury.
Houston: Hosts Cleveland Sunday, Dec. 4.
Dolphins: At San Francisco Sunday, Dec. 4.