In 2018, Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver Trent Sherfield scored a touchdown in his 11th game played. Two more seasons with Arizona and Sherfield never made it back to the endzone. Last year with the San Francisco 49ers, the made one trip to paydirt. Half way through the 2022 season, Sherfield was once again not finding the endzone.
That changed Sunday afternoon as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa floated a pass to the back corner of the endzone and Sherfield was able to toe-tap his way into a touchdown. It was absolutely perfect ball placement, grazing over the cornerback and into the reach of Sherfield, and it was a perfect job of securing the pass, getting the toes in bounds, and holding on to the ball through the entire play.
“It was great,” Sherfield said of getting back into the endzone. “It was honestly really a blessing. I just really give credit and glory all to God. Being able to be in this position is really humbling, and I’m really excited to be a part of this team. Just like I said, taking it day by day, week by week and just continuing to build and continue to be a great player for this team.”
Sherfield’s score came with 37 seconds remaining in the first half the game and extended Miami to a 17-7 lead. It allowed Miami to essentially double-up on scores one just before the end of the first half and with the opening possession of the second half. Miami was playing well at this point, but Sherfield’s score seemed to turn the game into a Dolphins rout.
This ball is perfect. The toe tap is perfect.— The Phinsider (@thephinsider) November 13, 2022
Just an absolutely perfect play.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa described the play, explaining, “I felt like [the cornerback covering wide receiver Tyreek Hill] was squatting, so I gave Trent an opportunity, and Trent made a big play for us in that instance. So I’m really happy that he finally got a touchdown as a Dolphin.”
“We know that we all have to be alert, because know Tua can have one read and he’ll see something, and he’ll throw it and we’ll have to be ready. It’s a lot of fun,” Sherfield said of Tagovailoa’s ability to adjust a play or change where he is going with the ball.
The receiver was then asked to expound on what he saw on the play that led to the score. “Like I said, just being alert – you always have to be alert when Tua is in the game,” he reiterated. “That ball wasn’t even supposed to come to me. I just knew reading the corner, seeing that he kind of came down on Tyreek (Hill), I knew that the ball was going to be in the air. So I just looked straight up in the air, and I just knew it was there. Tua trusted in me to go make a play. It was a great ball – beautiful ball. I had no choice but to catch it. Major props to Tua for that ball.”
“I think on that particular play it looked like a palms look where if Tyreek broke out, they could play cover 2, and if not, they would play cover 4,” Tagovailoa said as he described the play and the read he was making. “It really helped so that Tyreek was also in the slot on that side, so we didn’t know if they were going to double or cloud it or play 4. So I did my footwork, looked at Tyreek, and was trying to feel through Tyreek with the corner.”
A “palms” defensive scheme involved the cornerback reading the inside wide receiver - in this case Hill. Depending on what Hill did would dictate how the defense rotated their coverage. It caused the cornerback to hesitate just long enough for Tagovailoa to fit the ball into Sherfield.
Sherfield finished the game with four receptions for 63 yards and the score.
“I was very happy,” Hill, who finished with a game-high five receptions for 44 yards with a touchdown, replied when asked about his reaction to Sherfield’s first touchdown with the team. He went on to remark about the Dolphins’ game two weeks ago, when Sherfield appeared to score, but the referees marked the ball short of the goal line and Miami punched it in on the ground on the next play, rather than challenging the play and getting the ruling changed into a touchdown. “He had one stolen from in Detroit, so for him to get in the end zone with everything he’s had to deal with throughout the course of his career, definitely happy for him.”
Miami now heads into the bye week with a 7-3 record and in second place in the AFC playoff picture. They return in Week 12 with a home game against the Houston Texans. The rest of their schedule includes traveling out west to face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13 and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 14, then heading north to face the Buffalo Bills in Week 15, followed by a home game in Week 16 against the Green Bay Backers. The final two weeks of the season feature a road game against the New England Patriots, and finally hosting the New York Jets in Miami.