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The Dolphins and the 49ers are off to record-threatening offensive starts

Kyle Shanahan and Mike McDaniel spent years together scheming ways to exploit NFL defenses.

Now split apart with McDaniel in his second season coaching Miami and Shanahan in Year 7 in San Francisco, the two offensive coaches have their teams threatening records with their early season domination.

The 49ers and Dolphins rank 1-2 in several key offensive categories, from scoring to yards per play to success rate to passer rating to first downs.

Miami is the second team in NFL history to average at least 500 yards of offense a game through five games, with its 513.6 beating out the previous record of 505.4 set by the Rams in 2000.

The Dolphins are scoring 36.2 points per game for the best total at this point of the season in eight years, as defenses have had no answer for the speed of players like Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, Jaylen Waddle or Raheem Mostert.

Miami has seven of the nine fastest speeds for ball carriers tracked by NFL NextGen stats, led by Hill’s 22.01 mph on a 64-yard catch last week. Hill also reached a speed of 20.95 mph on a 69-yard TD against the Giants last week that gave him five TDs on the season and tied him with Lance Alworth for fifth place with his 19th career TD of at least 60 yards.

Achane has been on a record-setting pace of his own, with his seven TDs in his first four games ranking second in NFL history to Bill Paschal’s eight in 1943.

Achane has rushed for 100 yards and a TD in three straight games, tied for the second-longest streak ever for a rookie since the merger behind Franco Harris’ six-game streak in 1972. He is averaging 12.1 yards per carry on the season.

Achane will have to wait a bit to have a chance to tie Harris’ streak after getting placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a knee injury.

Mostert leads the NFL with eight TDs, making the Dolphins the second team ever with three players with at least five TDs from scrimmage in the first five games of a season. New England did it in 2011 with Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

The Niners have been more dominant overall, becoming the ninth team in the Super Bowl era to start 5-0 with a point differential of plus-99 or better. Six of the previous eight teams to do it made the Super Bowl, with Washington (1991), the Rams (1999) and Saints (2009) winning it all.

San Francisco is the sixth team to score at least 30 points in each of the first five games of a season and its eight-game regular-season streak of scoring at least 30 points ranks fifth-longest ever.

Purdy has won all 10 of his regular-season starts, with his 121.1 rating in those starts the best ever through 10 starts. He has completed 70.4% of his passes — second best to Chad Pennington’s 70.8% — through 10 starts. Only Ben Roethlisberger has won more consecutive starts (15) to begin his career.

McCaffrey has TDs in 14 consecutive games in the regular season and playoffs, tied with Emmitt Smith for the fourth-longest streak ever. Only Lenny Moore (17 games), O.J. Simpson (15) and John Riggins (15) have longer streaks.


Bill Belichick appears to be set to eclipse the NFL coaching record for losses well before he becomes the winningest coach ever the way things are going for New England early this season.

One week after suffering his most lopsided loss in 498 career regular-season and playoff games as a head coach in a 38-3 defeat to Dallas, Belichick took his most lopsided shutout loss ever in a 34-0 defeat to New Orleans.

This marked just the 13th time in the Super Bowl era that a team lost back-to-back games by that many points, with Miami the last to do it in 2019.

The Patriots have allowed 69 consecutive points since making a field goal to tie Dallas at 3 early in that Week 4 game. That’s two points shy of the most consecutive points allowed in franchise history, set in the team’s inaugural season in 1960 when the Patriots gave up 71 straight points over three games.

The back-to-back losses leave Belichick with a career record of 330-169-0 in the regular season and playoffs. He is 17 shy of tying Don Shula’s record for wins and nine shy of tying Tom Landry’s record for losses.


With last week’s win over Minnesota, Patrick Mahomes has beaten every team in the NFL in the regular season or playoffs other than his own Kansas City Chiefs, becoming the 10th player to beat 31 teams. Only Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady have wins over all 32 teams.

Mahomes gets to play his favorite opponent this week when he tries to improve to 12-0 all-time against Denver. The only quarterback since at least 1950 who is undefeated against an opponent with more starts than Mahomes has against the Broncos is Otto Graham, who went 12-0 in his career against the Cardinals.

In all, Kansas City has won 15 straight games against Denver, which is tied for the fourth-longest regular-season winning streak against an opponent ever. Miami won 20 straight vs. Buffalo in the 1970s, San Francisco won 17 in a row against the Rams in the 1990s and Washington won 16 straight vs. Detroit from 1968-97.


Sam Howell and Daniel Jones are spending far too much time on their backs this season.

Howell has been sacked an NFL-worst 29 times for Washington after taking five more last week, while Jones is only one behind at 28 for the Giants after being sacked six times against Miami.

Both are just behind the record-setting pace of David Carr. As a rookie on the expansion Texans in 2002, Carr was sacked 31 times in the first five games on the way to an NFL-record 76 for the season.

The only other time since the merger that a QB was sacked more in the first five games than Howell and Jones came in 2005 when Carr was sacked 30 times for Houston.

Credit: AP

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