Tag Archives: Miami Dolphins

Super Bowl XX

The New England Patriots were a Cinderella team during the 1985 season. They began the season losing 3 of their first 5 games, but won 6 consecutive games to finish with an 11-5 record. Even though they finished with a good record, the Patriots came in third place in the AFC East behind the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. However, they were able to get into the playoffs as the second Wild Card team.

The Patriots shocked everybody in the playoffs this year by choking against the New York Jets. However, the 1985 team shocked everybody by going on an incredible run – with all their playoff games on the road. They started this playoff run against the…

New York Jets

December 28, 1985
Giants Stadium

New England Patriots 26
New York Jets 14

In the NFL’s first ever playoff game at Giants Stadium, the Patriots dominated the Jets by forcing 4 turnovers and 5 sacks. New England jumped to 3-0 lead in the first quarter after Tony Franklin made a 33-yard field goal. Then after New York scored on quarterback Ken O’Brien’s 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Johnny Hector, Franklin kicked his second field goal for 41 yards. Late in the second quarter, safety Fred Marion intercepted a pass from O’Brien to set up Tony Eason’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan, giving New England a 13-7 halftime lead. In the third period, Franklin made a 20-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 16-7 lead and on the ensuing kickoff, Hector was stripped of the ball by LB Johnny Rembert, who then picked up the fumble and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown, which gave the Patriots a commanding 23-7 lead, but the Jets cut the lead to 23-14 late in the 3rd quarter when Pat Ryan, in at QB for the injured Ken O’Brien, threw a 12 yard TD pass to Mickey Shuler. Late in the 4th quarter, Franklin later made his fourth field goal of the game, a 26-yarder, to close out the scoring.

The Patriots then went out to Los Angeles to take on the…

Los Angeles Raiders

January 5, 1986
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

New England Patriots 27
Los Angeles Raiders 20

New England running back Craig James rushed for 104 yards, caught 3 passes for 48 yards and scored a touchdown while the Patriots converted 6 Raiders turnovers into 17 points. In the first quarter, a fumble by Raiders punt returner Fulton Walker set up Patriots tight end Lin Dawson’s 13-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Tony Eason. Los Angeles then scored 17 unanswered points: a 29-field goal by Chris Bahr, a 16-yard touchdown reception by Jessie Hester, and Marcus Allen’s 11-yard rushing touchdown. New England then scored with James’ 2-yard run, and later tied the game, 17-17, after Ronnie Lippett’s interception set up Tony Franklin’s 45-yard field goal. But Bahr kicked a 32-yard field goal with 6 second left in the half to give the Raiders a 20-17 lead. In the third period, Franklin made a 32-yard field goal to tie the game. On the ensuing kickoff, Sam Seale fumbled and Jim Bowman recovered the loose ball in the end zone for the game-clinching touchdown.

New England Patriot fans were extremely excited. We were not used to going this far into the playoffs. Hell, we were lucky to even see a playoff team. And here are the Patriots, going to the AFC Championship game, on the way to “Squish the Fish”, as they took on their dreaded rivals the…

Miami Dolphins

January 12, 1986
Miami Orange Bowl

New England Patriots 31
Miami Dolphins 14

This win against Miami had been especially surprising, not only because Miami was the only team to beat the Chicago Bears in the season, but also because New England had not won in the Orange Bowl (Miami’s then-home field) since 1966, the Dolphins’ first season (then in the AFL). The Patriots had lost to Miami there 18 consecutive times, including a 30-27 loss in their 15th game of the season. And this was not the Miami team of recent years. This was the Dan Marino-led Miami team. But, somebody forgot to tell the Patriots that they were supposed to lose. And somebody forgot to tell the Miami offense that they had a game to play. The Patriots converted 6 Dolphins turnovers into 24 points.

On Miami’s first offensive play, running back Tony Nathan fumbled, and Patriots defensive end Garin Veris recovered the ball to set up Tony Franklin’s 23-yard field goal. The Dolphins then marched on an 80-yard drive to score on quarterback Dan Marino’s 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dan Johnson. But New England responded on a 66-yard possession to score on quarterback Tony Eason’s 4-yard touchdown to Tony Collins. A fumble by Dwight Stephenson then led to Eason’s 1-yard touchdown to Derrick Ramsey to give the Patriots a 17-7 lead. Just before halftime Miami missed the chance to cut the deficit down to 3 points when tight end Dan Johnson dropped a pass from Marino in the end zone on a 1st and 10 from the Patriots’ 16. As the next two plays fell short of a first down, Miami settled for a field goal from the Patriots’ 14 yards, but Fuad Reveiz’ kick sailed wide to the right after a badly taken snap. Miami’s Lorenzo Hampton then lost a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, and Eason converted the turnover into a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Robert Weathers. The Dolphins finally scored again in the final period with Nathan’s 10-yard touchdown reception to cut the deficit to 24-14, but New England’s Mosi Tatupu later recorded a 1-yard touchdown to close out the scoring. Patriots running back Craig James was their main contributor on offense, rushing for a career postseason high 105 yards of the Patriots 255 total rushing yards in a game played in a steady rain.

This brought the Patriots to their first ever Super Bowl…

which they lost 46-10.

If you want to know about that game, you can ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ yourself over to the article that I painfully wrote last year.

Super Bowl XIX

January 20, 1985
Stanford Stadium

San Francisco 49ers – 38
Miami Dolphins – 16

This Super Bowl was hyped as the battle between two great quarterbacks, Miami’s Dan Marino and San Francisco’s Joe Montana – and indeed this was the first Super Bowl ever in which the starting quarterbacks of each team both threw for over 300 yards. In addition, the two teams combined total of 851 offensive yards was a Super Bowl record (later broken in Super Bowl XXII & Super Bowl XXXVIII). But the 49ers would end up taking the game in dominating fashion. It would be Marino’s only trip to the Super Bowl during his 17 year career.

Montana, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, completed 24 of 35 passes for a Super Bowl record 331 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 5 rushes for 59 yards and 1 rushing touchdown. His 59 rushing yards were the most rushing yards ever gained by a quarterback in the Super Bowl at that time.

Going into the game the two teams had combine for 33 wins – a Super Bowl record.

This Super Bowl was unique in that it fell on the same day that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. Because January 20 fell on a Sunday, Reagan was sworn in privately and the public ceremony took place the following day.

The 49ers advanced to their second Super Bowl in team history after becoming the first team ever to win 15 regular season games since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

As the Dolphins advanced to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in franchise history,[4] much of the media focus was on Miami’s young quarterback Dan Marino. In just his second year in the league, he broke nearly every NFL single season passing record. Marino set a record for the most completions in a season (362) and became the first quarterback ever to throw for over 5,000 yards, reaching a total of 5,084. He set the record for the most games throwing for at least 300 passing yards (9) and the most games with 400 yards (4). Marino’s 48 touchdown passes broke the previous record of 36, which was held by both George Blanda for the Houston Oilers in 1961 and Y.A. Tittle for the New York Giants in 1963. And he played the most games with at least 4 or more touchdown passes (6) and the most consecutive games with at least 4 touchdown passes (4).

The Dolphins gained 405 yards of total offense in their 31-10 playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks, and over 500 yards as they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-28, in the AFC Championship Game. In the victory over the Steelers, Marino completed 21 of 32 passes for 421 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception.

Meanwhile, the 49ers’ underrated defense allowed the team to blitz through the playoffs. Although Montana threw a combined total of 5 interceptions in their 2 games, they only gave up a combined total of 10 points and zero touchdowns in their victories over the New York Giants, 21-10, and the Chicago Bears, 23-0.

At 33-3, the combined records for the two teams coming into the game were and still are the best in Super Bowl history. The 49ers were 17-1 and the Dolphins 16-2 including their playoff games.

On Miami’s first drive, they got a 37-yard field goal from Uwe von Schamann. But, the 3-0 lead did not last long. San Francisco drove 78 yards in 8 plays, culminating in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Montana to reserve running back Carl Monroe to give them a 7-3 lead. It looked like the game was living up to its hype when Miami retook the lead on the next drive. Marino completed five consecutive passes, hitting Mark Clayton for 18 yards, Mark Duper for 11, Clayton again for 13, and tight end Dan Johnson for 21. On the next play, Marino finished the drive by hitting Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown pass, giving the Dolphins a 10-7 lead with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

Then San Francisco took over the game. The defense shut Miami down. In the second quarter, the 49ers drove, and Joe Montana threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Roger Craig, giving the 49ers a 14-10 lead. Miami had to punt when they got the ball back. Montana completed a pair of passes to tight end Russ Francis to move the ball 29 yards to the Miami 11-yard line. Craig ran for 5 yards on the next play, and then Montana ran the final 6 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, making the score 21-10. Then, San Francisco struck again scoring on a Roger Craig 2 yard run to make the score 28-10.

With 12 seconds left in the half, Miami got another field goal making the score 28-13. Then Miami caught a break as the 49ers botched the ensuing kickoff. San Francisco lineman Guy McIntyre received Van Schamann’s short kick and was about to down the ball, but then changed his mind at the last second and decided to return it. This turned out to be a big mistake. McIntyre lost a fumble while being leveled by rookie Joe Carter, and Jim Jensen recovered the ball for Miami at the 49ers 12-yard line. After that, Von Schamann kicked his third field goal on the last play of the half, cutting the score to 28-16.

On their first drive of the second half, San Francisco got a 27 yard field goal from kicker Ray Wersching making the score 31-16. On the Dolphins’ ensuing drive, they were forced to punt again after Marino was sacked twice. Starting their own 30-yard line after a 5-yard return by McLemore, Montana completed a 40-yard pass to Tyler, followed up with a 14-yard completion to Francis. Three plays later, Craig scored his third touchdown on a 16-yard reception to make the score 38-16. The score proved to be the last one from either team, as the defenses of both teams took over for the rest of the game – especially the 49ers’ defense, who intercepted Marino twice.

Super Bowl XVII

January 30, 1983
Rose Bowl

Washington Redskins 27
Miami Dolphins 17

This Super Bowl followed a strike-shortened season. Instead of 16 regular season games, 9 were played.
The game was a rematch of Super Bowl VII, also played in the Los Angeles area at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ten years before, where the Dolphins completed their 17–0 perfect season at the Redskins’ expense by a score of 14–7.

This Super Bowl was the John Riggins game. Washington’s running back, John Riggins, was named Super Bowl MVP. He finished the game with 2 Super Bowl records: the most rushing yards in a Super Bowl game (166), and the most rushing attempts (38). His performance was also his fourth 100 yard rushing game in a row in a postseason game, a postseason record. Riggins also recorded a reception for 15 yards, giving him more total yards than the entire Miami team. Much of Washington’s success on offense was also attributed to their offensive line, affectionately known as “The Hogs”.

The Dolphins’ main strength was their defense, nicknamed the “Killer Bees” because 6 of their 11 starters had last names that began with the letter “B”. The “Killer Bees”, anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Bob Baumhower, led the league in fewest total yards allowed (2,312) and fewest passing yards allowed (1,027). Linebacker A.J. Duhe was extremely effective at blitzing and in pass coverage. And the Dolphins secondary, consisting of defensive backs Don McNeal, Gerald Small and brothers Lyle and Glenn Blackwood, combined for 11 interceptions.

However, this was the pre-Dan Marino era for the Dolphins, and quarterback David Woodley, ranked last in the league in passing with 1,401 total yards, 8 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.The Dolphins advanced through the special 16-team playoffs by defeating the New England Patriots, 28-13, the San Diego Chargers, 34-13, and the New York Jets, 14-0, to earn a trip to their fourth Super Bowl in team history.

Meanwhile, the Redskins beat the Detroit Lions, 31-7, the Minnesota Vikings, 21-7, and the Dallas Cowboys, 31–17.

Miami scored first on their second possession with a 76-yard touchdown pass from quarterback David Woodley to wide receiver Jimmy Cefalo. Then after forcing the Redskins to punt, Woodley attempted a deep pass again, but was hit by Washington defensive end Dexter Manley causing him to fumble, and defensive tackle Dave Butz recovered the ball. The turnover led to Redskins kicker Mark Moseley’s 31-yard field goal to cut the lead 7–3 two plays into the second quarter.

Miami then followed with a field goal, increasing their lead 10-3. Then the Redskins went on an 80 yard scoring drive, capped by a 4 yard Joe Theismann touchdown pass to Alvin Garrett, tying the score 10-10. But, he tie did not last long: Fulton Walker returned the ensuing kickoff a Super Bowl record 98 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 17–10 lead. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in Super Bowl history.

In the 3rd quarter, Washington drove on their second posession, and settled for a field goal cutting their deficit to 17–13.

In the fourth quarter, Washington had another drive, and reached Miami’s 43 yard line, and face fourth down and one to go. Instead of punting, the Redskins decided to gamble and attempt to get the first down with a run from Riggins. But Riggins did a lot more than pick up the first down. Coach Joe Gibbs called his trademark play I-Right 70 Chip, starting TE Clint Didier in motion towards the right, then reversing motion back to the left. Theismann handed to Riggins who broke a tackle from Miami cornerback Don McNeal and took off for a 43-yard touchdown run, giving Washington their first lead of the game, 20–17, with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Washington quickly forced Miami to punt on their next possession, and punt returner Mike Nelms’s 12-yard return gave the Redskins great field position at the Dolphins 41-yard line. The Redskins then executed 5 consecutive running plays by Riggins, consuming a lot of time off the clock and moving the ball to the 23-yard line. Then on third down, Theismann made a key pass completion to Brown to the 9-yard line. Riggins then advanced the ball to the 6-yard line with two more runs. Then after the 2-minute warning, Brown caught a touchdown pass on the next play, increasing the Redskins lead to 27—17 and putting the game away.

Washington had completely dominated Miami in the second half, allowing only two first downs and no pass completions. Overall, the Dolphins gained just 9 first downs and 4 completions in the entire game.

Following the game, NBC aired the premiere episode of The A-Team, beginning the tradition of the game’s
host network airing programming after the game.