You all saw the posts.
You know, the ones that boldly claimed Tyreek Hill’s career was about to be “destroyed” or “wasted” by being traded from the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs squad to the Miami Dolphins and the “dink-and-dunk” offense they deployed — led by “noodle armed” quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Don’t remember? Dust off your reading glasses and scroll back on your timelines to March 23, 2022 — the date of the trade — for a good laugh.
Now, fast forward a year and half, and it is the Miami Dolphins’ players and coaches who are laughing because it’s the guys clad in aqua and orange who boast the league’s best offense — not the Kansas City Chiefs — and it’s Tua Tagovailoa who is leading the National Football League in nearly every single relevant passing statistic.
Much of Miami’s success can be directly linked back to wide receiver Tyreek Hill — the NFL’s ultimate power player.
In Hill’s first season with the Dolphins, he set personal single-season highs in both receptions with 119 — his previous high was 111 in 2021 — and receiving yards with 1,710 — absolutely demolishing his previous record of 1,479 yards set in 2018. Hill accomplished these feats even though he played multiple games where he was forced to catch passes from backup quarterbacks as Tagovailoa battled concussion issues throughout the year.
As a result, the Miami Dolphins made the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season — but narrowly missed out on their first playoff victory since December 30, 2000.
The 2022 season was a phenomenal one for Hill. It was a year that should have shut the haters up for good. However, as the 2023 season was approaching, the naysayers continued to spew their vitriol at Hill while the All-Pro receiver fearlessly announced his goal of surpassing the 2,000 receiving yards mark during the upcoming campaign.
It was an ambitious objective, no doubt. A wide receiver has never passed the 2,000-yard receiving mark in the league’s existence, which dates back 103 years to 1920. The current record is held by former Detroit Lions wideout, Calvin Johnson. In 2012, the man nicknamed “Megatron” put up 1,964 yards while catching passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford. Johnson, who retired following the 2015 season, was a first ballot Hall of Famer, by the way.
Despite the mockery from opposing fanbases and some members of the national media, Tyreek Hill reiterated his goal numerous times in multiple interviews prior to the start of the 2023 season. The only thing left to do was head out onto the field and back up his talk with the kind of performances that would help him achieve his record-breaking desire.
It wouldn’t take long before the doubters would be converted into believers.
In Week 1, the Miami Dolphins traveled to the ‘City of Angels’ to take on the Los Angeles Chargers and their own high-flying offense. In a game that saw both teams trading touchdowns like Pokémon cards, Tyreek Hill was the player roasting the competition like Charizard’s ‘Fire Blast’ attack.
Hill would finish the game — a Miami win — with 11 receptions for 215 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Just like that, the Dolphins receiver was over 10% of the way towards his goal of 2,000 yards receiving on the season.
Over the next seven games, Hill would compile another 63 receptions for 799 yards — giving him 1,014 receiving yards through Miami’s first eight games played. He became the first receiver in the history of the league to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in his team’s first eight games. If one extrapolates those numbers out over a full 17-game season, Hill would finish the 2023 season with 2,155 yards — easily smashing his goal of 2,000 receiving yards.
Who’s laughing now?
The answer is Tyreek Hill and all of the Miami Dolphins fans who have supported this team through good times and bad — and there’s been a whole lot of bad over the last two decades.
Time will tell if Hill reaches his 2,000 yards goal, but regardless of the outcome, his attempt will surely help the Dolphins achieve excellence.
For that, Tyreek Hill is the National Football League’s ultimate power player.