Tua’s TD pass, turnover forced by Howard lift Dolphins over Pats

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa throws a pass during the first half against the New England Patriots in the season opener. (Adam Glanzman, 2021 Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Tua Tagovailoa threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle in the third quarter and Xavien Howard recovered a fumble in the fourth to help the Miami Dolphins hold on for a 17-16 win over the New England Patriots.

It was Miami’s second straight win over the Patriots.

Tagovailoa also led the Dolphins to a win in the second meeting between the teams last season. Tagovailoa finished 16 of 27 for 202 yards, a touchdown and one interception.

Miami’s win spoiled the debut of New England’s Mac Jones, who became the first rookie quarterback to start for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993.

Jones was 29 of 39 for 281 yards and a touchdown.