Miami Dolphins

Fins at 50: Pivotal moments in Miami Dolphins history

Larry Csonka runs with the ball during Super Bowl 8 on Jan. 13, 1974. Miami defeated the Vikings 24-7 and Csonka was named MVP. It was the team's third consecutive Super Bowl appearance and second consecutive championship.
Larry Csonka runs with the ball during Super Bowl 8 on Jan. 13, 1974. Miami defeated the Vikings 24-7 and Csonka was named MVP. It was the team's third consecutive Super Bowl appearance and second consecutive championship. Miami Herald file

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March 3: American Football League commissioner Joe Foss meets with Minneapolis lawyer Joseph Robbie in Miami, and Foss encourages Robbie to apply for an expansion franchise in Miami.

Aug. 16: AFL awards its first expansion franchise to Joe Robbie and TV star Danny Thomas for $7.5 million.

Nov. 27: Miami picks Kentucky quarterback Rick Norton and Illinois running back Jim Grabowski in the first round of the AFL’s college draft.


Jan. 29: George Wilson is named the Dolphins’ first head coach after eight years coaching the Detroit Lions.

Sept. 2: In the franchise’s first regular season game in front of 26,776 at the Orange Bowl, the Dolphins’ Joe Auer returns the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, but Oakland wins, 23-14.

Oct. 16: After going 0-4 in preseason and opening the regular season 0-5, the Dolphins win their first game, beating Denver 24-7, in front of 22,191 at the Orange Bowl.


Sept. 17: Quarterback John Stofa breaks his right ankle, and rookie Bob Griese leads the Dolphins to a 35-21 victory over Denver in the season opener at the Orange Bowl. Griese throws a 68-yard TD pass to Joe Auer.

Nov. 26: Dolphins end an eight-game losing streak by defeating Buffalo 17-14 on a fourth-down, 31-yard TD pass from Bob Griese to Howard Twilley with 1:01 remaining. Dolphins win three of their last five games to finish 4-10.


Aug. 31: A crowd of 63,202 at the Orange Bowl watches Don Shula’s Baltimore Colts beat the Dolphins 22-13 in a preseason game.

Dec. 8: Dolphins annihilate Boston 38-7 two weeks after beating Boston 34-10, providing two of the few highlights in a 5-8-1 season.


May 10: The Dolphins are placed in the AFC East with Boston, the New York Jets, Buffalo and the NFL’s Baltimore team as part of a realignment.

May 16: Joe Robbie becomes the Dolphins’ major owner when he and five Miami businessmen buy out the interest of W.H. Keland.

Dec. 14: Dolphins lose at home to the Jets 27-9, ending a 3-10-1 season and also ending George Wilson’s four-year stewardship as coach. Wilson went 15-39-2 as Dolphins coach.


Feb. 18: Don Shula is named head coach and vice president after seven seasons coaching the Baltimore Colts.

April 13: NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle orders Dolphins to forward their first-round draft pick to Baltimore as compensation.

Dec. 20: Dolphins extend their winning streak to six and clinch the franchise’s first playoff berth with a 45-7 win against Buffalo at the Orange Bowl.

Dec. 27: The Oakland Raiders beat the Dolphins 21-14 in Miami’s first playoff game.


Oct. 17: Bob Griese sets an NFL record by throwing touchdowns on three consecutive passes in the first quarter of a 41-3 victory over New England at the Orange Bowl.

Dec. 19: Dolphins win their first AFC title by defeating Green Bay, 27-6, in front of 74,215, the team’s largest crowd at the Orange Bowl to date. The Dolphins finish 10-3-1.

Dec. 25: Dolphins beat Kansas City 27-24 in two overtimes to win the longest game in NFL history (82 minutes, 40 seconds) and advance to the AFC Championship for the first postseason win in Dolphins history.


Jan. 2: Dolphins beat Baltimore 21-0 to capture their first AFC championship in front of 78,629 at the Orange Bowl.

Jan. 16: Dallas rushes for 252 yards, outgains Miami 352-185 and defeats the Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl 6 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

Oct. 15: Earl Morrall replaces quarterback Bob Griese (broken right leg, dislocated ankle) during a 24-10 victory over visiting San Diego, with Miami moving to 5-0.

Dec. 16: Dolphins achieve the NFL’s first 14-0 regular season by beating Baltimore. In the process, they break the NFL’s season rushing record with 2960 yards.

Dec. 31: With the score tied at 7, Bob Griese comes off the bench in the third quarter, after missing 10 games, and leads the Dolphins to a 21-17 victory at Pittsburgh, sending the Dolphins to a Super Bowl for a second consecutive season.


Jan. 14: Dolphins cap the only perfect season in NFL history by defeating Washington 14-7 in Super Bowl 7 in Los Angeles. Jake Scott intercepts two passes and is named MVP.

Dec. 15: Paul Warfield catches four touchdown passes (21, 7, 16 and 4 yards) from Bob Griese in the first half a 34-7 victory over Detroit at the Orange Bowl. Miami finishes 12-2.

Dec. 30: Dolphins win their third consecutive AFC championship, rushing for 266 yards in a 27-10 victory against Oakland at the Orange Bowl.


Jan. 13: Dolphins dominate Minnesota 24-7 in Super Bowl 8 at Rice Stadium in Houston to win their second consecutive NFL championship. Larry Csonka is named MVP after gaining 145 yards on 33 carries.

March 31: Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield and Jim Kiick sign a $3.3 million package deal to play in the fledgling World Football League beginning in 1975.

July 1: NFL Players Association declares a strike, and Joe Robbie charges the NFLPA with a search and destroy mission.

Aug. 14: Strike ends after seven weeks. Seven Dolphins crossed the picket line, including Jim Langer, Jake Scott and Mercury Morris.

Dec. 21: The Dolphins’ bid for a third consecutive Super Bowl championship and a fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance ends with a 28-26 loss to the Raiders in an AFC semifinal at Oakland. Oakland scored the winning touchdown on Ken Stabler’s 8 -yard pass to Clarence Davis with 26 seconds left.


Sept. 22: The Dolphins’ 31-game Orange Bowl winning streak ends with a 31-21 loss to Oakland.

Oct. 22: The World Football League folds, but Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield and Jim Kiick remain temporarily under contract to John Bassett.

Dec. 14: Dolphins lose 10-7 to Baltimore in overtime to miss the playoffs for the first time in six seasons under Don Shula. They beat Denver the following week to finish 10-4.


Aug. 24: Dolphins trade two lynchpins of their championship teams, dealing Mercury Morris to San Diego for a fourth-round draft pick and sending Jake Scott and a fourth-round pick to Washington for safety Bryant Salter.

Dec. 11: Dolphins lose 29-7 at Minnesota to cap a 6-8 season, their worst to date under Shula. Bob Griese has a disappointing season (11 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 78.9 rating).


Sept. 11: Bob Griese, forced to wear eyeglasses because of problems with contact lenses, passes for two touchdowns in a 27-21 preseason win at the Giants, thus becoming the first quarterback to wear eyeglasses in an NFL game, according to the Dolphins.

Nov. 24: Bob Griese becomes the first NFL quarterback since 1972 to throw six TD passes in a game, and the Dolphins set records for points and yards (503) in a 55-14 blowout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thanksgiving.

Dec. 17: Dolphins beat Buffalo 31-14 to finish the season 10-4 but miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season.


Nov. 12: Delvin Williams becomes the first 1,000-yard rusher of the season with 144 yards and two touchdowns in a 25-24 win at Buffalo, marking Miami’s 18th consecutive win against the Bills.

Dec. 18: Garo Yepremian ties an NFL record with his 16th consecutive field goal, capping a 23-3 victory over New England and helping the Dolphins close the season at 11-5.

Dec. 24: In their first playoff game in four years, the Dolphins lose at home 17-9 to the Houston Oilers. The Dolphins commit five turnovers and are outgained, 455-209.


Feb. 22: Larry Csonka re-signs with the Dolphin safter spending the previous four seasons with the World Football League and the New York Giants.

Oct. 14: Tony Nathan scores on an 86-yard punt return as Miami defeats Buffalo, 17-7, for its 20th consecutive win in the series, the NFL’s longest consecutive win streak by one team over another.

Dec. 30: The Steelers race to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and defeat the Dolphins 34-14 in a playoff game in Pittsburgh. Csonka, after an 800-yard, 13-touchdown regular season, ran for just 20 yards on 10 carries in his final NFL game. In the aftermath, Csonka and the Dolphins cannot agree on a new contract and he retires.


Sept. 7: Buffalo’s Joe Cribbs rushes for 60 yards, catches nine passes for 71 yards and scores a touchdown in Buffalo’s 17-7 win, ending the Dolphins’ NFL-record 20-game winning streak against the Bills.

Sept. 21: Bob Griese wins his 100th game, coming off the bench and passing for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a 20-17 win at Atlanta.

Dec. 20: Dolphins lose 24-17 to the Jets, to finish the season 8-8. David Woodley, a rookie eighth-round draft pick, starts 11 games and is named team MVP despite posting just a 63.1 passer rating.


Feb. 5: Six-time All Pro guard Larry Little retires after a 14-year career which included 12 years with the Dolphins.

June 25: Bob Griese retires after a 14-year career with the Dolphins, boasting a record of 101-62-3, two Super Bowl victories and six Pro Bowl appearances.

July 1: Linebacker Rusty Chambers is killed in an automobile accident in Hammond, Louisiana.

Nov. 8: Don Shula records his 200th NFL win when linebacker Bob Brudzinski intercepts a pass in overtime to set up Uwe von Schamann for a 30-yard field goal in a 30-27 win at New England.


Jan. 2: In one of the most memorable games in NFL playoff history the Dolphins overcome a 24-0 deficit but lose in overtime, 41-38, to San Diego. It’s the first game in NFL history when two quarterbacks — Don Strock (who relieved an ineffective David Woodley) and San Diego’s Dan Fouts — each passed for more than 400 yards. The game featured one of the most replayed touchdowns in Dolphins history: Tony Nathan’s 25-yard run after a lateral from Duriel Harris, who caught a 15-yard pass from Strock on the final play of the first half.

Sept. 21: With the Dolphins 2-0, the NFLPA calls a players strike. Games don’t resume until Nov. 21.

Dec. 12: In one of the most bizarre incidents in Dolphins history, a work release parolee (Mark Henderson) clears a space on the snow-frozen turf at New England’s Sullivan Stadium that enables the Patriots to kick a late fourth-quarter field goal and win the game 3-0.


Jan. 23: On a rainy day at the Orange Bowl, A.J. Duhe sets an AFC playoff record with three interceptions, including one that he returns 35 yards for a touchdown, and the Dolphins beat the Jets for the third time that season to advance to the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl.

Jan. 30: The Dolphins lead Washington with 10 minutes to play in Super Bowl 17 but eventually lose, 27-17.

April 24: The Dolphins are thrilled when they get the chance to select Dan Marino 27th in the first round of the NFL Draft, after five quarterbacks go ahead of him (John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien).

June 25: Starting linebacker Larry Gordon, the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick in 1976, collapses while jogging in the desert in Arizona and dies an hour later at a Phoenix hospital. The death is attributed to heart disease.

Oct. 9: Dan Marino and receiver Mark Duper make their first starts for the Dolphins, with Marino passing for 322 yards and Duper catching seven passes for 202 yards. But Buffalo wins, 38-35, in overtime.

Dec. 16: The Dolphins beat the Jets, 34-14, to finish the season 12-4. Miami wins the AFC East and Marino — out since a Dec. 4 knee injury — closes his rookie season with 20 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 2210 yards passing and a 96.0 rating.


March 5: Joe Robbie announces plans to build a new multipurpose stadium in North Dade County.

June 24: Running back David Overstreet is killed in an automobile accident in Winona, Texas, when his Mercedes swerves off the highways, caroms into gasoline pumps at a service station and explodes.

Sept. 2: Dan Marino begins a record-setting season with five touchdown passes in a season-opening 35-17 win at Washington.

Dec. 17: Miami beats Dallas 28-21 to end the regular season with the best record in the AFC (14-2). Marino completes the most prolific passing season in NFL history, becoming the first NFL quarterback to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a season (5,084) and 48 touchdowns compared with 17 interceptions. Both Mark Clayton (73-1,389) and Mark Duper (71-1,306) set Dolphins single-season records for receptions and reception yardage.

Dec. 20: The Associated Press names Marino the NFL’s MVP.

Dec. 29: Dan Marino throws for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-10 playoff thumping of visiting Seattle.


Jan. 6: The Dolphins defeat the Steelers to earn the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl appearance. Marino throws for 421 yards and four touchdowns.

Jan. 20: San Francisco beats the Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl 19, with Marino finishing 29 for 50 for 318 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. It would be his only Super Bowl appearance and the Dolphins’ last Super Bowl appearance to this day.

Dec. 1: Owner Joe Robbie officially breaks ground on a 75,000-seat stadium.

Dec. 2: Led by Marino and a defense that produces six sacks and three interceptions, the Dolphins beat Chicago, 38-24, in one of the most memorable Monday night games in franchise history, handing the eventual Super Bowl champions their only loss of the season before 75,594 fans at the Orange Bowl.


Jan. 12: Despite 20 tackles from linebacker Bob Brudzinski, the Dolphins commit six turnovers and lose to New England 31-14 in the AFC Championship Game. It’s Miami’s first loss in an AFC title game in six chances.

Sept. 21: The Dolphins lose to the Jets 51-45 in overtime, but Dan Marino reaches 1,500 career attempts to qualify as the NFL’s top-rated passer of all time. Marino finishes the day 30 of 40 for 338 yards and six touchdowns.

Nov. 24: The Dolphins pulverize the Jets 45-3 as Lorenzo Hampton rushes for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Hampton’s big game snaps a streak of 36 regular-season games for Miami without a 100-yard rusher.

Dec. 22: The Dolphins play their final game in the Orange Bowl — a 34-27 loss to the Patriots. Miami’s final regular-season record at the Orange Bowl: 110-38-3 (.738). Marino sets single-season records for completions (378) and attempts (623).


Jan. 27: Dolphins greats Larry Csonka and Jim Langer are named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, becoming the second and third former Dolphins to earn that honor (following Paul Warfield).

Aug. 16: The Dolphins lose to Chicago 10-3 in the preseason, in the first game played at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Sept. 22: NFL Players Association goes on strike; the Dolphins’ home game against the Jets on Sept. 27 is canceled. The Dolphins’ replacements finished 2-1.

Nov. 29: The Dolphins lose 27-0 to Buffalo, ending Dan Marino’s streak of 30 games with at least one touchdown pass, well short of Johnny Unitas’ NFL of 47.


July 31: The Dolphins make their first trip abroad and defeat the 49ers 27-21 in the American Bowl at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Oct. 23: Dan Marino records the second-best passing yardage in NFL history at that time — 521 yards (short of Norm Van Brocklin’s record of 554), but the Jets beat the Dolphins 44-30 at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Dec. 18: The Dolphins lose 40-24 at Pittsburgh and finish 6-10, their worst record in the Marino era. That’s despite the fact Marino finishes the season throwing for 28 touchdowns and 4,434 yards to become the first quarterback in NFL history at that point to top 4,000 yards passing in four different seasons.


Sept. 17: In a 24-10 win at New England, Marino throws his 200th career touchdown pass faster (89 games) than anybody in NFL history.

Nov. 12: Pete Stoyanovich kicks a then-team record 59-yard field goal in a 31-23 victory over the Jets, a kick that also ties the record for the third-longest field goal in NFL history at the time.

Dec. 24: The Dolphins finish 8-8 and are eliminated from playoff contention with a 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Joe Robbie Stadium. The game is played in 40-degree weather, the coldest home game in the history of the Dolphins.


Jan. 7: Joe Robbie, the founder of the Dolphins who used private money to build Joe Robbie Stadium, dies of respiratory failure at 73.

Jan. 27: Bob Griese becomes the fourth Dolphins player named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

March 7: H. Wayne Huizenga purchases 50 percent of Joe Robbie Stadium’s parent company and 15 percent of the Dolphins.

Nov. 25: Miami improves to 9-2 and clinches the team’s first winning season since 1987 with a 30-13 victory over the Browns. Also, Dan Marino surpasses 30,000 yards passing in his career, achieving that in his 114th career game, more quickly than any of the 10 quarterbacks who also reached that landmark.


Jan. 5: The Dolphins return to the playoffs after a four-year absence with a 17-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Joe Robbie Stadium. Pete Stoyanovich sets an NFL playoff record with a 58-yard field goal.

Jan. 12: The Bills beat the Dolphins 44-34 in the highest-scoring nonovertime playoff game in history. Jim Kelly passes for 339 yards and Thurman Thomas rushes for 117.

Sept. 22: A 16-13 win against Green Bay gives Don Shula the 300th win of his career, joining George Halas as the only coaches with 300-plus wins.


May 20: The Dolphins sign a long-term agreement to build a new training facility at Nova University in Davie, to be ready by start of training camp.

Aug. 31: Miami’s season opener Sept. 6 against visiting New England is rescheduled to Oct. 18 because of Hurricane Andrew.

Sept. 29: The Dolphins sign All-Pro tight end Keith Jackson, a week after a federal court ruling in Minneapolis made him a free agent.

Dec. 27: The Dolphins clinch the AFC East title with a 16-13 overtime win against the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium. Miami closes the season 11-5 and win its first division championship since 1985.


Jan. 10: The Dolphins record their most lopsided playoff win in their history, 31-0 against San Diego at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Jan. 17: Miami commits five turnovers (two interceptions, three touchdowns) and loses to Buffalo, 29-10, in the AFC Championship at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Jan. 30: Larry Little becomes the fifth Dolphin to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Oct. 24: Dan Marino misses a start for the first time in 145 consecutive games (excluding replacement games) but Miami beats Indianapolis 41-27, with Scott Mitchell throwing for 190 yards.

Nov. 14: The Dolphins win 19-14 at Philadelphia, giving Don Shula his 325th career win, breaking George Halas’ NFL record. With Dan Marino sidelined by a torn right Achilles sustained in the fifth game of the season, the Dolphins also lose backup quarterback Scott Mitchell with a separated shoulder. But third-string quarterback Doug Pederson guides the Dolphins to a pair of field goals, helping give Shula the historic win.

Nov. 25: The Dolphins beat Dallas 16-14 on a sleet-covered field on Thanksgiving. Miami trails 14-13 with 15 seconds left, when Jimmie Jones blocks Pete Stoyanovich’s 41-yard field-goal attempt. But Dallas’ Leon Lett attempts to pick up the loose ball and fumbles, and the Dolphins’ Jeff Dellenbach recovers on the 1-yard line with three seconds left. Stoyanovich then kicks a 19-yard field goal on the game’s final play.


June 28: Wayne Huizenga purchases the Robbie family’s remaining 85 percent of the Dolphins and 50 percent share of Joe Robbie Stadium, giving Huizenga 100 percent ownership of both.

Sept. 4: After missing the final 11 games of the 1993 season with a torn right Achilles tendon, Dan Marino returns triumphantly with 473 yards passing and five touchdowns to lead Miami to a 39-35 win against New England at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Oct. 2: For the first time in the history of the nation’s four major sports leagues, a father and son battle as head coaches. Don Shula’s Dolphins emerge with a 23-7 win against the Bengals, coached by David Shula.

Nov. 27: Dan Marino makes history with his famous “Clock Play.” On first-and-goal with 22 seconds left, Marino approaches the line of scrimmage, appearing poised to spike the ball to stop the clock. Instead, he drops back and throws an 8-yard touchdown pass to Mark Ingram to complete the Dolphins’ comeback from an 18-point second-half deficit in a 28-24 win.

Dec. 31: Dan Marino throws two touchdowns to lead the Dolphins to a 27-17 win against Joe Montana’s Kansas City Chiefs in a first-round playoff game. Marino sets an NFL record by throwing a touchdown pass in his 11th consecutive playoff game.


Jan. 9: The Dolphins squander a 21-6 halftime lead and suffer an excruciating 22-21 playoff loss to the Chargers in San Diego. Dan Marino drives the Dolphins to the Chargers’ 30-yard line, but Pete Stoyanovich was wide right on a 48-yard field goal with eight seconds left.

Oct. 8: Dan Marino passes Frank Tarkenton to become the NFL’s all-time leader in completions, a record since surpassed. But the Dolphins lose 27-24 in overtime to Indianapolis.

Nov. 12: Dan Marino becomes the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yardage, besting Frank Tarkenton’s previous mark of 47,003. But the Dolphins lose at home to New England, 34-17.

Nov. 26: Dan Marino throws his 343rd touchdown pass, surpassing Fran Tarkenton’s record, but Miami loses 36-28 at Indianapolis.

Dec. 24: The Dolphins win 41-22 at St. Louis in Don Shula’s final regular-season game as an NFL coach.

Dec. 30: The Bills end Don Shula’s coaching career with a 37-22 loss in an AFC first-round playoff game in Buffalo. The teams combine for an NFL postseason record 1,038 yards. Dan Marino completes 33 of a career-high 64 pass attempts for 422 yards.


Jan. 5: Don Shula ends his coaching career after 33 seasons, including the previous 26 with the Dolphins. His final overall record: 347-173-6 and two Super Bowl titles.

Jan. 11: Jimmy Johnson leaves his job at Fox Sports and signs a four-year contract to become the third head coach in Dolphins history. Five days later, Johnson is named the team’s general manager.

Sept. 1: The Dolphins defeat the Patriots 24-10 in Jimmy Johnson’s first game as head coach.

Nov. 10: Dan Marino becomes the first quarterback to pass 50,000 yards passing in a career with a 36-yard completion to OJ McDuffie.


Jan. 25: Don Shula is elected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Oct. 5: The Dolphins defeat the Chiefs, 17-14, for the 300th victory in franchise history. The Dolphins become the second team from the old AFL to reach 300 wins, following the Raiders.

Dec. 22: The Dolphins blow a chance to win the AFC East by losing 14-12 to New England. Instead, they enter as a wild card and go on the road the next week to face the Patriots, who beat them again (17-3).


Jan. 24: Former center Dwight Stephenson is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dec. 21: The Dolphins defeat Denver 31-21 to become the winningest team in Monday Night Football history.

Dec. 27: The Dolphins lose 38-16 at Atlanta to finish 9-7 but advance to the postseason for the second time in Jimmy Johnson’s first three seasons as head coach.


Jan. 9: The Dolphins’ season ends with a 38-3 shellacking at Denver. Miami is outgained 424-252 and allows 191 yards rushing to Terrell Davis.

Jan. 14: Jimmy Johnson hires Dave Wannestedt, head coach of the Chicago Bears from 1993 to 1998, as his assistant head coach.

Sept. 13: The Dolphins defeat the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos for their 300th regular-season win.

Oct. 10: The Dolphins set a franchise record by scoring 25 fourth-quarter points to rally past Indianapolis 34-31. It’s the 35th time Dan Marino has led the Dolphins from a fourth-quarter deficit to win.


Jan. 15: The Jacksonville Jaguars annihilate the Dolphins 62-7 in the final game of Dan Marino’s playing career and Jimmy Johnson’s coaching career.

Jan. 16: Jimmy Johnson retires and Dave Wannstedt is named the team’s fourth head coach.

Feb. 10: Dan Marino voids the final two years of his contract, becoming a free agent.

March 13: After considering overtures from Pittsburgh and Minnesota, Marino announces his retirement.

Aug. 23: More than 50,000 fans come to Pro Player Stadium for a public tribute to Dan Marino. The event includes appearances by the five quarterbacks drafted ahead of Marino in 1983: John Elway, Jim Kelly, Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien --- as well as former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

Oct. 23: The Dolphins somehow squander a 30-7 fourth-quarter lead against the Jets. Kicker John Hall wins the game for the Jets with a 40-yard field goal 6:47 into overtime, ending the four-hour, 10-minute marathon. It’s the largest comeback win ever against the Dolphins and the longest game in the history of Monday Night Football.

Dec. 24: The Dolphins defeat the Patriots 27-24 at Foxborough Stadium to win the AFC East for the first time since 1994. Thirty-five minutes following the apparent conclusion of the game, both teams are summoned back onto the field after referees determine that three seconds still remain on the clock. The Patriots, with the ball at their own 40, attempt a long pass, which falls incomplete at the Dolphins 25.

Dec. 30: The Dolphins rally from a 14-0 third quarter deficit and defeat the Colts 23-17 in an AFC first round playoff game at Pro Player Stadium. Lamar Smith scores the winning touchdown on a 17-yard run in overtime. Smith sets with an NFL record with 40 rushing attempts and his 209 rushing yards are second-most in NFL playoff history.The Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since.


Jan. 6: The Raiders defeat the Dolphins, 27-0, the first time Miami has been shut out in 38 postseason contests.

Jan. 27: Nick Buoniconti becomes the eighth former Dolphin to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dec. 30: The Dolphins beat Atlanta 21-14 to clinch their fifth playoff appearance in a row, but it would be their last playoff appearance until 2008.


March 8: The Dolphins acquire running back Ricky Williams and a fourth-round draft pick from New Orleans for a first-round pick (25th overall) and fourth-round pick in 2002 and a first-round choice (18th overall) in 2003.

Sept. 22: The Dolphins snap an eight-game losing streak to the Jets with a 30-3 win at Pro Player Stadium. Ricky Williams rushes for 151 yards, becoming the first player in team history to post three consecutive 100-yard rushing games.

Dec. 1: Ricky Williams rushes for 228 yards in a 38-21 loss to the Bills in Buffalo, surpassing Lamar Smith’s record for yards rushing in a game. Williams also surpasses Delvin Williams’ single-season Dolphins record of 1258 yards rushing.

Dec. 29: Ricky Williams rushes for 185 yards in a 27-24 overtime loss at New England and finishes the season with the team record for rushing yards (1853), attempts (383), 100-yard rushing games (10) and total yards from scrimmage (2216). He becomes the first Dolphin to lead the NFL in rushing. But the Dolphins finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs.


Nov. 23: The Dolphins wear orange jerseys (the first time they have worn anything other than white or aqua) in a 24-23 Sunday night win against the Redskins.

Dec 21: Jason Taylor has three sacks in a 20-3 win against the Bills, surpassing Bill Stanfill to become the team’s all-time sack leader.

Dec. 29: A day after finishing 10-6, but missing the playoffs, Wayne Huizenga announces he will restructure the team’s football operations department and will hire a general manager responsible for personnel matters. Dave Wannstedt is given a two-year contract extension to remain coach, through 2006, but no longer holds personnel powers.


Jan. 12: Rick Spielman is promoted to general manager and Dan Marino is named senior vice president/football operations.

Feb. 3: Three weeks after accepting the job, Dan Marino resigns as senior vice president of football operations, saying: “I knew it would involve a significant lifestyle change but after further reflection, it became clear that those adjustments were ones that my family and I are not prepared to make at this time.”

May 14: The NFL announces that Ricky Williams has failed a drug test and faces a $650,000 fine and a four-game suspension.

July 25: Ricky Williams — unhappy about the pounding he has taken (775 carries in his first two years as a Dolphin), facing a drug suspension and seeking more freedom (including the ability to travel and smoke marijuana) — tells the Miami Herald that he intends to retire.

Oct. 10: After kicker Olindo Mare aggravates a calf injury in pregame warmups, Dolphins receiver Wes Welker becomes the first player to return punts and kickoffs and kick field goals (he made a 29-yarder) and extra points and handle kickoffs in the same game.

Nov. 9: Dave Wannstedt is forced to resign two days after a 24-23 loss to Arizona leaves Miami’s record at 1-8. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates takes over on an interim basis.

Dec. 25: While in Orlando, preparing for his team’s Capital One bowl game, LSU coach Nick Saban announces he will become the sixth head coach in Dolphins history. He signs a five-year contract but would stick around for only two of them.


Feb. 5: Dan Marino becomes the ninth former Dolphin to earn election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

June 6: Nick Saban hires Randy Mueller as general manager, three days after GM Rick Spielman’s departure.

July 24: Williams returns to the Dolphins after his one-year retirement and agrees to pay back a percentage of his signing bonus and complete his 2004 four-game suspension for a failed drug test. Williams apologizes for leaving the team days before the start of training camp, which contributed to the Dolphins finishing 4-12.

Dec. 4: Down 21-0 against Buffalo in the second quarter, the Dolphins score 21 in the fourth quarter and rally for a 24-23 win. Chris Chambers sets a Dolphins single-game record for receptions (15) and receiving yards (238).


March 15: The Dolphins, operating on the advice of their medical staff, trade a second-round pick to Minnesota for quarterback Daunte Culpepper instead of signing free agent Drew Brees. Culpepper would play in only four games for Miami, while Brees would sign with San Diego, win a Super Bowl and earn eight Pro Bowl appearances.

April 25: The NFL announces that Ricky Williams will be suspended for at least one year after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy for the fourth time.

Dec. 31: Dolphins lose 27-22 at Indianapolis to finish 6-10 and end Nick Saban’s two-year tenure as coach.


Jan. 3: Nick Saban resigns to become coach at Alabama, a month after saying, “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”

Jan. 19: Cam Cameron, the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers since 2002, is named the seventh head coach in Dolphins history.

Oct. 21: Jason Taylor returns a Matt Cassel pass 36 yards for a touchdown, setting a record for most career touchdowns by a defensive lineman (eight).

Nov. 14: The NFL reinstates Ricky Williams, who had been suspended for more than 18 months because of multiple violations of the NFL’s drug policy. Williams, who spent the 2006 season playing in Canada, returns Nov. 26 against Pittsburgh but sustains a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in the game.

Dec. 16: Dolphins avoid a winless season by beating Baltimore 22-16 in their 14th game. Three plays after Matt Stover misses a 44-yard field goal attempt on the first possession of overtime, Cleo Lemon hits Greg Camarillo for a 64-yard touchdown

Dec. 20: Bill Parcells, who won two Super Bowls as a coach, is named Dolphins executive vice president of football operations.


Jan. 3: Dolphins fire Cam Cameron and all but two members of his staff.

Jan. 16: Tony Sparano, a nine-year NFL assistant, is named the eighth head coach in Dolphins history.

Feb. 22: Owner Wayne Huizenga announces that Stephen Ross has become a 50 percent partner in the stadium.

April 22: Owning the first pick in the draft for the first time in team history, the Dolphins sign University of Michigan tackle Jake Long four days before the draft.

Aug. 8: the Dolphins sign Chad Pennington to a two-year, $11 million deal, a day after the Jets released him following their acquisition of Brett Favre.

Sept. 21: After an 0-2 start, the Dolphins defeat the Patriots, 38-13, snapping New England’s 19-game regular season win streak. In the process, the Dolphins unveil their Wildcat offense, which produces four touchdowns, each of which involves Ronnie Brown.

Dec. 21: The Dolphins beat Kansas City, 38-31, in 10 degree temperatures, the coldest game in Dolphins history.

Dec. 28: The Dolphins finish 11-5, win the AFC East and cap a 10-game turnaround from 2007 with a 24-17 win over the Jets at the Meadowlands. That 10-game improvement ties the 1999 Indianapolis Colts for the largest in NFL history.


Jan. 4: Chad Pennington throws four interceptions after throwing just seven all season and the Dolphins lose 27-9 at home to Baltimore in their only playoff game since 2002.

Jan. 20: Stephen Ross purchases an additional 45 percent of the Dolphins and Dolphin Stadium from H. Wayne Huizenga, giving him 95 percent interest in both.

Nov. 1: Dolphins receiver Ted Ginn Jr. becomes the first player in NFL history with two touchdowns of 100 yards or more in the same game in a 30-25 win over the Jets at Giants Stadium. Ginn scores on 100- and 101-yard kickoff returns.


May 20: Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas announces his retirement in an emotional news conference.

Mid-September: Bill Parcells steps down from his executive position with the Dolphins.

Dec. 5: Dan Carpenter kicks a 60-yard field goal in a loss to the Cleveland Browns, the longest field goal in team history.


Jan. 8: Owner Stephen Ross gives coach Tony Sparano a two-year contract extension, two days after flying with general manager Jeff Ireland to California to quietly pursue then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. Ross later admitted that he didn’t believe anybody would find out about the meeting with Harbaugh.

Aug. 1: Jason Taylor re-signs with the Dolphins for his third stint with the team. Taylor spent 2008 with the Redskins and 2010 with the Jets.

Dec. 12: The Dolphins fire coach Tony Sparano after a 26-10 loss to Philadelphia that drops Miami’s record to 4-9. Defensive backs coach Todd Bowles is named interim coach.

Dec. 18: Reggie Bush rushes for 203 yards in a 30-23 win against Buffalo, marking the fourth time in team history that a Dolphins running back surpassed the 200-yard rushing mark in a game.


Jan. 1: Jason Taylor is carried off the field by his teammate in the final game of his career, a 19-17 win against the Jets. But Miami finishes 6-10.

Jan. 20: Joe Philbin, the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator, is named the 10th head coach in Dolphins history.

May 29: The Dolphins announce they will participate in the 2012 season of Hard Knocks, a reality sports documentary series in HBO.

Sept. 30: Brian Hartline sets a team record with 253 receiving yards in a 24-21 overtime loss at Arizona.

Nov. 25: Ryan Tannehill sets a team record for most passing yards in a season by a Dolphins rookie. He goes on to finish the season with 3,294 yards passing, surpassing Dan Marino’s record of 2,210 in 1983.


Aug. 20: President Barack Obama welcomes Don Shula and more than 20 members of the 1972 Super Bowl champion Dolphins to the White House to honor the NFL’s only perfect season. It did not become common practice for the Super Bowl champions to visit the White House until after 1980.

Oct. 28: Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin goes AWOL, angry about being bullied by Richie Incognito and other Dolphins players.

Oct. 31: Defensive end Cameron Wake sacks Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety to give the Dolphins a 22-20 overtime win on Halloween. It marks only the third time in NFL history that an overtime game ends with a safety.

Nov. 3: The Dolphins suspend Richie Incognito for conduct related to the treatment of Jonathan Martin. He would never play for the Dolphins again.

Nov. 6: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appoints attorney Ted Wells to investigate Jonathan Martin’s allegations of workplace harassment inside the Dolphins.


Feb. 14: Following a three-month investigation into the Dolphins’ workplace environment, Ted Wells releases a 144-page report asserting that three starters on the Dolphins offensive line --- Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey --- engaged in a “pattern of harassment" directed at Jonathan Martin and another young offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. The Dolphins eventually trade Martin and fire trainer Kevin O’Neill and offensive line coach Jim Turner.

Jan. 28: The Dolphins name Dennis Hickey as general manager, replacing Jeff Ireland. Hickey had spent 18 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dec. 28: The Dolphins allow erratic Jets quarterback Geno Smith to produce a perfect passer rating in a 37-24 home loss to the 4-12 Jets. The Dolphins, who entered the day needing several things to happen to make the playoffs, finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.


March 11: The Dolphins sign defensive tackle Nadamukong Suh to a six-year, $114 million contract, the largest given to a nonquarterback.

May 18: The Dolphins sign Ryan Tannehill to a contract worth $96 million over six seasons, the biggest deal ever given to a Dolphins offensive player.

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