The Top 100 Games in Dolphins History
While the NFL celebrated its 100th anniversary season in 2019, the actual 100-year anniversary of the birth of the league arrived Sept. 17, 2020.
To mark the occasion last year, I put together a countdown of the top 100 games in Dolphins history for Dolphin Digest.
The rankings were based on quality of the game, unusual occurrences and historical significance.
So here we go:
100 — Jan. 20, 1985, 49ers 38, Dolphins 16: We have to include this game because this was the Super Bowl and it featured the much-anticipated battle between Dan Marino and Joe Montana, but the truth is it was a rather forgettable game.
99 — Sept. 25, 2016, Dolphins 30, Browns 24 (OT): The Dolphins escaped this roller coaster of the game when Jay Ajayi scored a rushing touchdown in overtime, and little did anyone know at the time it would pave the way for a playoff season.
98 — Sept. 8, 2002, Dolphins 49, Lions 21: This game stands out because of the way Ricky Williams began his career with the Dolphins after the huge trade that brought him over from New Orleans.
97 — Oct. 4, 1992, Dolphins 37, Bills 10: This was an early showdown in the AFC East between the 3-0 Dolphins and the 4-0 Bills, marked by tight end Keith Jackson’s debut after he gained free agency and signed with Miami. Louis Oliver’s 103-yard pick-six was a great way to punctuate this victory.
96 — Dec. 12, 1982, Patriots 3, Dolphins 0: This game during the strike-shortened season earns mention because of the sheer absurdity of watching a work-parole releasee drive a snowplow onto the field to clear a spot for Pats kicker John Smith.
95 — Nov. 5, 1978, Dolphins 23, Cowboys 16: This was a tremendous effort by the Dolphins defense to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions at the Orange Bowl.
94 — Sept. 16, 1990, Dolphins 30, Bills 7: The Dolphins ended a six-game losing streak against Buffalo by shutting down the “K-Gun” offense in Week 2 at Joe Robbie Stadium.
93 — Sept. 12, 1982, Dolphins 45, Jets 28: The Dolphins used two pick-sixes and a punt return for a touchdown to open the season with a rout of the Jets, who they would see in the AFC Championship Game a few months down the road.
92 — Oct. 1, 1972, Dolphins 16, Vikings 14: The Dolphins had a close call early in their perfect season but were able to pull out the victory on a late touchdown pass from Bob Griese to tight end Jim Mandich.
91 — Nov. 1, 2009, Dolphins 30, Jets 25: The Dolphins were outgained 378-104 in this game, but won thanks to two 100-yard-plus kickoff returns for touchdowns by Ted Ginn Jr. sandwiched around a Jason Taylor fumble return for another score.
90 — Dec. 17, 1984, Dolphins 28, Cowboys 21: The Dolphins closed out their memorable 1984 season with a thrilling Monday night victory that saw Mark Clayton set the single-season receiving TD record with his late game-winning touchdown.
89 — Dec. 23, 1973, Dolphins 34, Bengals 16: The Dolphins’ playoff run to their second consecutive Super Bowl title began with a rout of the Bengals.
88 — Dec. 20, 1970, Dolphins 45, Bills 7: The Dolphins clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history in style.
87 — Oct. 16, 1966, Dolphins 24, Broncos 7: After five losses to open the season, the Dolphins record the first victory in franchise history at the Orange Bowl.
86 — Sept. 10, 1989, Bills 27, Dolphins 24: This season opener came down to the final play of the game and the Bills won on a Jim Kelly quarterback draw for a touchdown.
85 — Nov. 9, 1980, Dolphins 35, L.A. Rams 14: David Woodley’s finest game as Dolphins QB as he passed for three touchdowns and ran for two others in an upset road victory against the defending NFC champs.
84 — Nov. 27, 2016, Dolphins 31, 49ers 24: The Dolphins withstood a tremendous performance by Colin Kaepernick, stopping him short of the goal line in the final seconds to preserve their victory.
83 — Dec. 15, 2013, Dolphins 24, Patriots 20: Five after joining the team, safety Michael Thomas preserves the victory with an end zone interception.
82 — Dec. 27, 1992, Dolphins 16, Patriots 13 (OT): A late touchdown and the game-winning kick in overtime give the Dolphins the AFC East title and ultimately home field advantage in the AFC Championship Game against Buffalo.
81 — Dec. 5, 1977, Dolphins 17, Colts 6: The Dolphins tied the Colts atop the AFC East at 9-3 with an impressive showing on Monday Night Football.
80 — Dec. 20, 1987, Dolphins 23, Redskins 21: Dan Marino puts on a brilliant passing display (393 yards, three TDs) in this Sunday night battle against the eventual NFC champions.
79 — Nov. 6, 2016, Dolphins 27, Jets 23: Rookie Kenyan Drake’s late kickoff return for a touchdown provides the winning margin in this back-and-forth contest.
78 — Nov. 11, 1984, Dolphins 24, Eagles 23: Doug Betters blocks a late PAT attempt to keep the Dolphins undefeated at 11-0.
77 — Dec. 10, 1978, Dolphins 23, Raiders 6: Linebacker Larry Gordon picks off Ken Stabler three times and the Dolphins clinch a playoff spot.
76 — Sept. 7, 2014, Dolphins 33, Patriots 20: Newcomer Knowshon Moreno ran for 134 yards and the Dolphins outscored New England 23-0 in the second half for a big opening-day win.
75 — Nov. 18, 2015, Dolphins 38, Titans 10: Cameron Wake’s four sacks and Reshad Jones’ pick-six help the Dolphins rout Tennessee in Dan Campbell’s first game as interim head coach.
74 — Nov. 11, 2001, Dolphins 27, Colts 24: Jay Fiedler outduels Peyton Manning at the RCA Dome.
73 — Oct. 17, 2010, Dolphins 23, Packers 20 (OT): The Dolphins upset the eventual Super Bowl champions at Lambeau Field after Aaron Rodgers ties the game late in the regulation with a TD run.
72 — Nov. 26, 2017, Dolphins 27, Patriots 20: Xavien Howard picks off Tom Brady twice in this Monday night game.
71 — Oct. 26, 1975, Dolphins 35, Bills 30: Don Nottingham has three rushing TDs and the Dolphins overcome a 13-0 deficit to win this battle of 4-1 teams at Rich Stadium.
70 — Oct. 14, 2018, Dolphins 31, Bears 28 (OT): Big games for QB Brock Osweiler and WR Albert Wilson as the Dolphins rack up 541 yards against the vaunted Bears defense.
69 — Oct. 1, 1995, Dolphins 26, Bengals 23: The Dolphins prevail in the first-ever head-coaching matchup between a father (Don) and his son (David).
68 — Dec. 12, 1988, Dolphins 38, Browns 31: Dan Marino outduels future teammate Bernie Kosar and former teammate Don Strock in a late-season Monday night shootout.
67 — Dec. 8, 2013, Dolphins 34, Steelers 28: The Dolphins pull out a late victory, but not before watching the Steelers almost pull off a miraculous finish (a multi-lateral play that ends with Antonio Brown barely stepping out of bounds inside the Miami 20).
66 — Nov. 27, 2003, Dolphins 40, Cowboys 21: Jay Fiedler and Chris Chambers hook up for three TD passes and the Dolphins rout the Cowboys on Thanksgiving wearing their throwback uniforms.
65 — Oct. 16, 2016, Dolphins 30, Steelers 15: The 1-4 Dolphins stun the 4-1 Steelers in Miami behind Jay Ajayi’s 204-yard rushing performance to start their improbable run to the playoffs.
64 — Nov. 5, 2006, Dolphins 31, Bears 13: The 1-6 Dolphins shock the previously unbeaten Bears at Soldier Field behind a huge defensive effort that includes Jason Taylor’s fumble return for a touchdown.
63 — Nov. 23, 2003, Dolphins 24, Redskins 23: Quarterback Jay Fiedler comes off the bench to rally the Dolphins from a 23-10 fourth-quarter deficit.
62 — Sept. 22, 2002, Dolphins 30, Jets 3: Ricky Williams’ 151-yard rushing performance helps the Dolphins end an eight-game losing streak against the Jets in style.
61 — Sept. 21, 1986, Jets 51, Dolphins 45 (OT): If you like offense, it was tough to top this shootout between 1983 first-round picks Dan Marino and Ken O’Brien, who combined for 927 passing yards,
60 — Dec. 21, 1998, Dolphins 31, Broncos 21: Dan Marino outdueled John Elway with a big assist from WR Lamar Thomas in this Monday night battle.
59 — Dec. 29, 1984, Dolphins 31, Seahawks 10: The Dolphins avenged their playoff loss to Seattle from the previous year with a dominant performance.
58 — Jan. 10, 1993, Dolphins 31, Chargers 0: Led by CB Troy Vincent, the Dolphins defense completely dominated this playoff game at rainy Joe Robbie Stadium. This remains the team’s biggest playoff win in terms of margin.
57 — Oct. 13, 2002, Dolphins 24, Broncos 22: The Dolphins won a thriller at Mile High Stadium in a Sunday night game when Olindo Mare answered Denver kicker Jason Elam’s last-minute 50-yard-plus field goal with one of his own.
56 — Jan. 30, 1983, Redskins 27, Dolphins 17: The Dolphins got two huge plays — Fulton Walker’s kickoff return for a touchdown and David Woodley’s 76-yard pass to Jimmy Cefalo — but couldn’t hang on to their 17-10 lead in Super Bowl XVII.
55 — Nov. 24, 1977, Dolphins 55, Cardinals 14: This was a rare Thanksgiving Day when Dallas wasn’t one of the host teams, and the Dolphins made St. Louis regret agreeing to play host. Bob Griese threw six TD passes in the Dolphins’ biggest rout in team history.
54 — Nov. 30, 1981, Dolphins 13, Eagles 10: What made this Monday night game special was the incredibly loud crowd at the Orange Bowl, with the noise getting so bad at one point in the fourth quarter that Eagles QB Ron Jaworski backed away from the huddle a few times before throwing an interception.
53 — Oct. 25, 2015, Dolphins 42, Houston 26: In Dan Campbell’s first home game as interim head coach, the Dolphins raced to a 42-0 halftime lead with big play after big play.
52 — Sept. 14, 1980, Dolphins 17, Bengals 16: The Dolphins pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback that was sparked by an onside punt — yes, an onside punt — after Cincinnati got a safety.
51— Dec. 27, 1970, Raiders 21, Dolphins 14: Though the Dolphins lost largely because of two big plays (a 50-yard pick-six and an 82-yard TD pass), this was significant because it was the first playoff game in franchise history.
50 — Sept. 22, 2013, Dolphins 27, Falcons 23: Second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed nine passes on a 75-yard game-winning drive capped by a 1-yard TD to tight end Dion Sims as the Dolphins improved to 3-0 on the season.
49 — Sept. 14, 1992, Dolphins 27, Browns 23: This Week 2 Monday night game ended up being the Dolphins’ season opener because their Week 1 game against New England was postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. And what an opener it turned out to be, as Dan Marino directed a late game-winning drive capped by a Mark Higgs touchdown run.
48 — Sept. 2, 1984, Dolphins 35, Redskins 17: While there was a lot of excitement heading into Marino’s first full season as a starter, the opener seemed daunting on the road against a Washington team coming off two Super Bowl appearances. It wasn’t daunting after all. Marino threw five TD passes to start his historic passing season.
47 — Dec. 20, 2004, Dolphins 29, Patriots 28: The 2004 season was one to forget for the Dolphins, but this Monday night thriller was one to remember. A.J. Feeley gave the 2-11 Dolphins a huge upset against the 11-2 Patriots with a fourth-down game-winning TD pass to Derrius Thompson and the defense picked off Tom Brady twice in the late stages.
46 — Nov. 20, 1978, Oilers 35, Dolphins 30: This was one of the many roller-coaster Monday night games the Dolphins have played, though this one ended in defeat. Bob Griese was outstanding for the Dolphins, but the defense simply couldn’t contain Earl Campbell.
45 — Sept. 9, 2001, Dolphins 31, Titans 23: The first Sunday night game of the 2001 season featured two teams that have made the playoffs the previous year, and the Dolphins prevailed thanks to a 65-yard touchdown reception by running back Lamar Smith and, of course, the famous Zach Thomas pick-six that he punctuated with a flip into the end zone.
44 — Sept. 29, 1985, Dolphins 30, Broncos 26: Two years after they both were first-round picks, Marino and John Elway faced each other for the first time at Mile High Stadium and it was no contest. Marino passed for 390 yards and three TDs, while Elway was held without a touchdown pass.
43 — Oct. 17, 1999, Dolphins 31, Patriots 30: This game at the old Foxboro Stadium could not have started worse for the Dolphins, who fell behind 14-0 on two pick-sixes and lost Marino to an injury. But backup quarterback Damon Huard slowly brought the Dolphins back and won the game with a 5-yard TD pass to fullback Stanley Pritchett with 23 seconds left.
42 — Dec. 21, 2008, Dolphins 38, Chiefs 31: Needing a win to put themselves in position to win the AFC East, the Dolphins won a shootout at Arrowhead Stadium in the coldest game in franchise history. Chad Pennington had three TD passes, two to tight end Anthony Fasano, to outduel Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen, who would join the Dolphins two years later.
41 — Sept. 9, 2018, Dolphins 27, Titans 20: In addition to being a game that featured a lot of big plays, including Jakeem Grant’s kickoff return for a touchdown and a 75-yard TD pass from Tannehill to Kenny Stills, this game also had the distinction of being the longest in NFL history thanks to two weather-related delays of over an hour.
40 — Dec. 4, 2005, Dolphins 24, Bills 23: The Dolphins closed Nick Saban’s first season as head coach with five consecutive victories, none more than thrilling than this one. Backup QB Sage Rosenfels came off the bench to rally the Dolphins from a 23-3 deficit, winning the game on a late touchdown pass to Chris Chambers, who had 15 catches for 238 yards.
39 — Jan. 4, 1986, Dolphins 24, Browns 21: The Dolphins found themselves facing a shocking 21-3 third-quarter deficit at the Orange Bowl after Earnest Byner’s 66-yard touchdown run, but Marino brought them back thanks in large part to two TD runs by Ron Davenport.
38 — Oct. 9, 1983, Bills 38, Dolphins 35 (OT): This back-and-forth affair ended in a frustrating loss for the Dolphins, who saw Buffalo tie the game late in regulation on a fourth-and-goal TD pass from Joe Ferguson to Joe Cribbs and then missed two chances to win in overtime when Uwe von Schamann missed field goal attempts from 52 and 42 yards, but there was something more important here. This was Marino’s first career start, and he lit it up with 322 passing yards and three touchdowns.
37 — Dec. 31, 1994, Dolphins 27, Chiefs 17: Two years after they faced in the Super Bowl, Marino and Joe Montana had another playoff battle, this time in Miami. After the teams battled to a 17-17 halftime score, the Dolphins pulled away in the second half, thanks in part to J.B. Brown’s interception in the end zone.
36 — Dec. 30, 1973, Dolphins 27, Raiders 10: The Dolphins secured their third consecutive trip to the Super Bowl with a methodical dismantling of another 1970s AFC powerhouse that featured strong defense and a run-oriented attack — the Dolphins ran on 53 of their 60 offensive plays.
35 — Jan. 9, Dolphins 20, Seahawks 17: The last victory of Marino’s Hall of Fame career came at the Kingdome and featured a fourth-quarter comeback and J.J. Johnson’s 2-yard game-winning touchdown run.
34 — Sept. 17, 1972, Dolphins 20, Chiefs 10: This much-anticipated rematch of the 1971 Christmas Day playoff classic turned into a bit of a dud after the Dolphins jumped to a 17-0 lead on their way to an easy victory, and it set the tone for the Dolphins’ march to a perfect season.
33 — Oct. 12, 2009, Dolphins 31, Jets 27: There was nothing special in this Monday night game through three quarters other than the Dolphins wearing their orange jerseys. But the fourth quarter was spectacular. It featured five lead changes, the last coming when Ronnie Brown took a snap in the Wildcat formation and scored on a run on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 6 seconds left.
32 — Nov. 13, 2016, Dolphins 31, Chargers 24: The Dolphins’ last game in San Diego played an important role in their improbable run to a playoff berth in 2016. The Dolphins set a franchise record with four interceptions in the fourth quarter, none bigger than Kiko Alonso’s game-winning pick-six right after the two-minute warning when the Chargers appeared poised to get into field goal position.
31 — Dec. 20, 1992, Dolphins 19, Jets 17: This Sunday night game might be better known as the “Choke” game. After Pete Stoyanovich missed an extra-point attempt with 2:30 left, Jets defensive coordinator Pete Carroll was caught on the sideline grabbing his throat, mocking Stoyanovich for choking. But the Jets weren’t able to kill the clock, Marino put the Dolphins in position to win, and Stoyanovich got the last laught with a game-winning 37-yard field goal.
30 — Oct. 31, 2013, Dolphins 22, Bengals 20 (OT): The “Wake-off.” In a Thursday night game in Miami, the Dolphins used a pick-six by Brent Grimes and a late field goal to send the game to overtime, where Cameron Wake produced a rare game-winning safety when he sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone.
29 — Dec. 16, 2007, Dolphins 22, Ravens 16 (OT): The lone victory of the forgettable 2007 season came in Week 14 after Ravens coach Brian Billick, his team out of playoff contention, mysteriously settled for a game-tying field goal in the final seconds instead of trying to score a game-winning touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Three plays after Baltimore missed a 44-yard field goal attempt in overtime, Cleo Lemon hit Greg Camarillo in the middle of the field for a 64-yard touchdown.
28 — Dec. 28, 2008, Dolphins 24, Jets 17: Defensive end Phillip Merling’s pick-six is the play that stands out in season finale at the Meadowlands, but there was something extra satisfying about ex-Jets QB Chad Pennington beating his former team to give the Dolphins the AFC East title.
27 — Oct. 10, 2009, Dolphins 34, Colts 31: This was a classic shootout between Marino and Peyton Manning that the Dolphins won on a 2-yard pass to Oronde Gadsden with 27 seconds left, two plays after Marino and Gadsden connected on a 48-yard gain on fourth-and-10 from midfield.
26 — Nov. 27, 1994, Dolphins 28, N.Y. Jets 24: While everything else that happened on this day forever will be overshadowed by the game-winning touchdown, let’s not forget the “Fake Spike” game featured a remarkable comeback by the Dolphins from a 24-6 third-quarter deficit.
25 — Oct. 23, 2000, N.Y. Jets 40, Dolphins 37 (OT): Yes, it was painful for Dolphins fans everywhere to watch the team blow a 30-7 fourth-quarter lead, but this truly was a remarkable game. What also might be forgotten about that game is that Jets cornerback Marcus Coleman picked off Jay Fiedler twice in overtime because he fumbled after the first interception and the Dolphins recovered.
24 — Jan. 5, 1991, Dolphins 17, Chiefs 16: The Dolphins found themselves in trouble in their home playoff game against Steve DeBerg and the Chiefs, trailing 16-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Marino brought the Dolphins back with two TD passes, but KC then marched to the Miami 26-yard line before a holding penalty pushed the Chiefs back and Nick Lowery came up short on a 52-yard field goal attempt.
23 — Nov. 10, 1985, Dolphins 21, Jets 17: Mark Duper, back after missing a month with an injury, had the game of his career and he capped it with a 50-yard game-winning, one-handed catch down the right sideline in the final minute.
22 — Dec. 3, 1973, Dolphins 30, Steelers 26: Long before the “Monday Night Miracle,” the Dolphins had a close call in another Monday night game. In this one, the Dolphins led 30-3 heading into the fourth quarter before the Steelers scored three touchdowns behind quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who had come off the bench to replace Joe Gilliams. Leading 30-24, the Dolphins took their famous intentional safety, which had Howard Cosell losing his mind on the ABC broadcast.
21 — Dec. 24, 1972, Dolphins 20, Browns 14: The Dolphins’ first playoff game in their perfect season was a much-too-close-for-comfort battle. The Dolphins trailed 14-13 before Jim Kiick’s touchdown run with 4:54 left. The Dolphins then watched the Browns drive to the Miami 34 before linebacker Doug Swift clinched the victory with an interception on a second-and-9.
20 — Jan. 16, 1983, Dolphins 34, Chargers 13: This was sweet revenge for the playoff classic of the previous year, as this time it was the Dolphins who jumped out to a 24-0 lead. They made it stand up with five interceptions of Dan Fouts to earn a trip to the AFC Championship Game.
19 — Jan. 6, 1985, Dolphins 45, Steelers 28: The 1984 AFC Championship Game might have been the sweetest performance of Marino’s career given the stakes and the fact it came against his hometown team. Marino was brilliant that day, passing for 421 yards and four touchdowns.
18 — Jan. 23, 1983, Dolphins 14, Jets 0: This game featured a brilliant individual performance by A.J. Duhe, who had three picks and a pick-six, and beating the Jets to reach the Super Bowl made it even more memorable. We just couldn’t put the “Mud Bowl” higher in the countdown because it was a sloppy game — in more ways than one.
17 — Nov. 25, 1993, Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14: The snowy Thanksgiving Day victory in Dallas was memorable for a few reasons, the most obvious being the crazy finish. But it also should be noted the Dolphins won with Steve DeBerg at quarterback and the game featured Keith Byars’ memorable 77-yard run.
16 — Dec. 24, 2016, Dolphins 34, Bills 31 (OT): This was the most exciting game of the Dolphins’ playoff run of ’16. The game featured brilliant performances by Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi and Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and it came down to Andrew Franks hitting a clutch 55-yard field goal at the end of regulation and a 27-yarder in overtime for the victory that ultimately put Miami in the playoffs.
15 — Dec. 21, 1974, Raiders 28, Dolphins 26: Yes, this crushing loss ended the Dolphins’ Super Bowl run of the 1970s, but starting with Nat Moore’s kickoff return for a touchdown to start the game, this was epic football. The winning touchdown, of course, was the famous “Sea of Hands,” where Ken Stabler flicked the ball as he was going down and running back Clarence Davis came up with it in the end zone in a crowd.
14 — Sept. 21, 2008, Miami 38, Patriots 13: The game loses points in the countdown because the outcome was decided early, but there might not be a more satisfying victory on this list based on what the Dolphins did to the Patriots while unveiling the Wildcat. It was simply glorious for Dolphins fans. Ronnie Brown’s performance that day was unforgettable.
13 — Nov. 14, 1993, Dolphins 19, Eagles 14: To be quite blunt, this game was rather boring. But there is no downplaying its significance because the victory made Don Shula the winningest coach in NFL history.
12 — Jan. 2, 1999, Dolphins 24, Bills 17: Besides Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds’ epic performance, there really was nothing special about this game until the final minutes. But the ending was awesome. The Dolphins led 24-14 at the two-minute warning before the Bills kicked a field goal and then recovered an onside kick. Things got particularly tense after the Bills drove to a first-and-goal at the Miami 5 with 17 seconds left. But Trace Armstrong settled matters when he nailed Doug Flutie from the side, causing a fumble that Dolphins defensive end Shane Burton recovered.
11 — Sept. 23, 2001, Dolphins 18, Raiders 15: With a giant flag draped across the field as the NFL resumed games after the events of 9/11, this was bound to be a memorable day regardless. It became even more memorable when Jay Fiedler scrambled for a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds, his triumphant fist-raising in the end zone captured for the front page of Sports Illustrated.
10 — Dec. 31, 1972, Dolphins 21, Steelers 17: Because of the playoff setup in those days, the Dolphins had to travel to Three Rivers Stadium for the AFC Championship Game despite their 14-0 regular season record. The Dolphins trailed 7-0 early in the second quarter before Larry Seiple’s famous run on a fake punt turned the momentum.
9 — Jan. 2, 1972, Dolphins 21, Colts 0: The Dolphins earned their first trip to the Super Bowl, with Don Shula beating his former team thanks to a pick-six by safety Dick Anderson and a 75-yard touchdown pass from Bob Griese to Paul Warfield to open the scoring.
8 — Jan. 13, 1974, Dolphins 24, Vikings 7: The Dolphins’ domination (they led 24-0 before Minnesota scored in the fourth quarter) and reliance on the running game (53 rushing attempts, 7 pass attempts) made this a rather unexciting game, but it capped one of the greatest two-year runs in NFL history.
7 — Sept. 4, 1994, Dolphins 39, Patriots 35: The 1994 season opener at muddy Joe Robbie Stadium featured a classic shootout between Drew Bledsoe and Marino, made even more remarkable by the fact this was Marino’s first regular season game since his Achilles injury. As a bonus, the game-winning touchdown came on a fourth-and-5 when Marino connected with Irving Fryar for a 35-yard score.
6 — Dec. 9, 2018, Dolphins 34, Patriots 33: The most incredible finish in Dolphins history capped a thriller that featured an amazing nine lead changes. It’s easy to forget that last part because of that final play, the 69-yard, three-lateral gem involving Tannehill, Stills, DeVante Parker and Kenyan Drake.
5 — Dec. 30, 2000, Dolphins 23, Colts 17 (OT): Lamar Smith capped the most remarkable individual playoff performance in Dolphins history with his game-winning TD in overtime, but that was just part of the excitement of this game. The Dolphins sent the game to overtime with a TD pass from Fiedler to tight end Jed Weaver in the final minute, then watched Mike Vanderjagt miss a 49-yard field goal attempt in overtime before Smith’s 17-yard score finished off his 209-yard performance.
4 — Dec. 2, 1985, Dolphins 38, Bears 24: This just might be the most impressive victory in Dolphins history given the way they handled the Bears in handing them their only loss of the 1985 season. The atmosphere at the Orange Bowl on this Monday night also was unparalleled. The only thing keeping this game from being higher in the countdown is that it lacked suspense at the end, being that the Dolphins led 31-10 at halftime.
3— Jan. 14, 1973, Dolphins 14, Redskins 7: The Dolphins completed the only perfect season in NFL history the way they won most of their games, with a strong running game and strong defensive effort. The outcome never really was in doubt and the lack of drama keeps this at number 3 despite the significance of the game.
2 — Jan. 2, 1982, Chargers 41, Dolphins 38 (OT): This actually might be the greatest game in NFL history and the only thing keeping it from being number 1 on this list is the fact the Dolphins lost. But it was spectacular, edge-of-your-seat football from the time the Dolphins began coming back from their 24-0 first-quarter deficit. This game also featured the greatest play in Dolphins history, the hook-and-lateral that got the Dolphins to within 24-17 at halftime.
1 — Dec. 25, 1971, Dolphins 27, Chiefs 24 (2 OT): Almost 50 years later, this remains the longest game in NFL history (in actual game time). It’s the game that catapulted the Dolphins to their great heights in the 1970s. Interestingly, the Dolphins never led in this game until Garo Yepremian’s game-winning 37-yard field goal short after Larry Csonka broke through for a 29-yard run. This came after both teams missed field goal attempts in overtime and after the Chiefs missed another field goal attempt near the end of regulation. The Dolphins won despite an epic performance by Chiefs running back Ed Podolak, who had 330 all-purpose yards.