‘I will be fine getting second-guessed’ — Why Miami Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel Didn’t Go for 73

Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel showed the Denver Broncos grace and respect by not attempting a late field goal that would have set an NFL record.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — There were probably 30,000 or so Miami Dolphins fans left in the stands late in regulation Sunday, but it sounded like a full house when the “Three More Points!” chant got going.

So yeah, everyone left in the building knew the score when De’Von Achane sprinted 67 yards to the end zone to give the Dolphins a mind-boggling 70-20 lead over the Denver Broncos midway through the fourth quarter.

That touchdown put the Dolphins just two points shy of the NFL’s record for points by a team in a regular-season game, which was set by the Washington franchise, now known as the Commanders, against the Giants on Nov. 27, 1966.

In the end, the Dolphins wouldn’t get the record — but it wasn’t because they didn’t have the opportunity.

A 52-yard run by third-string running back Chris Brooks with a little over two minutes remaining put the Dolphins in field goal range.

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If he wanted to, Mike McDaniel could have sent Jason Sanders out to attempt a 45-yard field goal that would have given the Dolphins 73 points — a number never before reached in the league’s 104-year history.

Instead, he kneeled on fourth down — much to the dismay of the fans who desperately wanted the record.

Miami Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel Takes High Road

After the game, McDaniel acknowledged he knew what was on the line at the moment. But he didn’t want to disrespect his opponent — or the sport — by what he called “chasing points and chasing a record.”

“I will be fine getting second-guessed by turning down NFL records,” McDaniel said. “That’s fine. I’m very OK with the decision, and I think the team, notably the leaders of the team, supported it — the captains supported it. It’s not the way you want to get the record.

“I would hope that if the shoe was on the other foot, the opponent would feel the same way,” he added. “That’s called karma. I’m trying to keep good karma with the Miami Dolphins.”

His players agreed.

“I think we did the right thing,” said Dolphins guard Robert Hunt. “Seventy’s good. We good.”

Added Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, “I think in this league and around the league, it’s about respect in the NFL. As we went out there, I feel like that’s what we got. We got respect, and we’re not trying to go out there and humiliate teams. That’s just what it happened to look like. Trying to run the ball, trying to kill some time, big plays opened up, and that’s what it looked like.”

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