De’Von Achane sets Dolphins’ rookie rushing record during breakout performance vs. Denver

The Miami Dolphins’ offense was already explosive with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, Braxton Berrios and others.

The new element they hoped would take it to an even crazier level was finally on display Sunday.

After being sidelined in week 1 with a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason and taking only six snaps (two touches) last week at New England, the Dolphins unleashed rookie running back De’Von Achane on the Denver Broncos defense during their historic 70-20 blowout win at Hard Rock Stadium.

Achane, the Dolphins’ third-round pick out of Texas A&M, seized the opportunity and then some.

Achane ran for a rookie franchise-record 203 yards on 18 carries and scored four touchdowns overall. He also caught four passes for 30 yards. The two touchdowns rushing and two receiving tied the Dolphins’ franchise mark for most scores in a game along with Raheem Mostert, who also scored four touchdowns Sunday.

Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane (28) gets ahead of the tackle attempt by Denver Broncos cornerback Essang Bassey (21) to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 24, 2023. Al Diaz/adiaz@miamiherald.com
Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane (28) gets ahead of the tackle attempt by Denver Broncos cornerback Essang Bassey (21) to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 24, 2023. Al Diaz/adiaz@miamiherald.com

“Our offense is speed, and we have weapons everywhere from receiver to running back to QB,” Achane said. “When we go out there and are clicking on all cylinders, we have something. We’re capable of doing a lot of great things on this team.”

Achane’s output contributed to the Dolphins’ team-record 350 rushing yards as a team and team-record 726 total yards overall, which missed the all-time NFL record by 9 yards.

Achane ran for more than 200 yards only once at Texas A&M in his final game for the Aggies last November when he ran for 215 yards against LSU.

“This is like video game stuff,” Achane said. “I had never been on this side of a game like that.”

Achane’s speed was one of the biggest traits that drew the Dolphins interest heading into April’s NFL Draft.

It was on full display Sunday as he was clocked at one point with the fifth-fastest run with the ball in the league this season (21.5) as timed by NextGen Stats.

Achane’s speed on multiple runs made Broncos defenders look at least a step behind.

But it wasn’t just Achane’s breakaway speed like he showed during the 67-yard touchdown he ran for Miami’s final points of the day.

Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane (28) punches through to the goal line to score against the Denver Broncos in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 24, 2023. Al Diaz/adiaz@miamiherald.com
Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane (28) punches through to the goal line to score against the Denver Broncos in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, September 24, 2023. Al Diaz/adiaz@miamiherald.com

Achane ran in between tacklers and made quick changes of direction in the open field to turn short gains into longer runs.

“It’s awesome. He’s been doing this since he got here,” Dolphins receiver Braxton Berrios said. “It’s awesome when they come to the table and they bring so much. He doesn’t even feel like a rookie out there. He looks like a vet.”

With running back Jeff Wilson Jr. on injured reserve, Achane is making the most of his chance to settle into the Dolphins’ backfield.

Achane said he kept the four footballs with which he scored his four touchdowns and that he would likely give them to his mother to put in a trophy case.

Achane said that while the long run at the end of the game was his favorite and stirred memories of a similar 76-yard touchdown run he scored at Hard Rock Stadium during the 2021 Orange Bowl when he helped the Aggies beat North Carolina.

But Achane did love being on the receiving end of a “no-look” shovel pass from Tua Tagovailoa with 10:16 left in the second quarter when he caught such a pass for a 4-yard score.

“In practice, [Tagovailoa] did that and they just told me to be standing because he’s not looking when he throws it,” Achane said. “We just make it easy for each other. When we can do something like that in practice, Sunday is the easy part.”