May 24, 2024
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to pass during a preseason game.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to pass during a preseason game against the Houston Texas on Aug. 19.

(Eric Christian Smith / Associated Press)

When these teams played in December, the Chargers had a nearly 20-minute edge in time of possession and limited Tua Tagovailoa to a 35.7 completion percentage in a 23-17 victory. One of Miami’s two touchdowns came on a fumble return by Tyreek Hill.

“We didn’t do nothing crazy,” Chargers safety Alohi Gilman said. “Just executed and had fun and flowed out there.”

Matching that defensive performance won’t be easy, especially with the Dolphins motivated to right everything that went wrong nine months ago. Primary among Tagovailoa’s weapons are receivers Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

“Every play, you have to respect that this play could go a long way,” Staley said of the pair. “They have that impact that few do in the NFL where — every play — a big play could happen.”

One of the principals involved when these teams met in December was Renaldo Hill, who was then the Chargers’ defensive coordinator. Hill is now on Miami’s staff, serving as the passing game coordinator/secondary coach.

“It won’t have an impact because they’re a lot different and so are we,” Staley insisted. “This matchup is going to be a lot different than the last one.”

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