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The 10 Best Dolphins Playoff Games

The Bills-Chiefs shootout was called one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history, but what are the 10 best playoff games involving the Dolphins?

During and right after the insane show Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen put on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, there was some Twitter chatter about whether Kansas City's 42-36 overtime victory against Buffalo was the best playoff game ever.

We're here to tell you it's not because that distinction belongs to a game involving the Miami Dolphins, a game that's been dubbed the "Epic in Miami."

We might even argue there could be one or two other Dolphins playoff games that were equal to or superior to the Buffalo-K.C. shootout, if not as explosive.

With that in mind, here's our ranking of the 10 best playoff games involving the Dolphins, understanding that it's meant purely from a viewing entertainment standpoint.

1. 1981 divisional playoffs — San Diego 41, Miami 38 (OT)

The best game in NFL history, plain and simple. It had everything, the Dolphins coming back from a 24-0 first-quarter deficit, one of the most amazing plays ever (the hook-and-lateral), dramatic momentum swings, finally ended by Rolf Benirschke's field goal late in the first overtime period.

2. 1971 divisional playoffs — Miami 27, Kansas City 24 (2 OT)

The longest game in NFL history. The Dolphins tied the score with a touchdown with under two minutes left in regulation, blocked a Chiefs field goal attempt in overtime, missed a field goal attempt and eventually got into field goal range after a 29-yard run by Larry Csonka before Garo Yepremian ended it with a 37-yard kick.

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3. 1974 divisional playoffs — Oakland 28, Miami 26

The "Sea of Hands" game. The Dolphins' hopes for a three-peat ended when Ken Stabler flings a pass toward the end zone as he's about to get sacked by Vern Den Herder and Clarence Davis catches it in the end zone surrounded by Miami defenders. It was the third lead change in the final five minutes.

4. 1998 wild-card playoffs — Miami 24, Buffalo 17

This was amazing finish after the Dolphins seemed to have things in control up 24-14 at the two-minute warning. But Buffalo kicked a field goal, recovered an onside kick, then drove to the Miami 5-yard line with 17 seconds left. Trace Armstrong ended it on first-and-goal when he drilled QB Doug Flutie from the side and forced a fumble that was recovered by fellow defensive lineman Shane Burton.

5. 2000 wild-card playoffs — Miami 23, Indianapolis 17 (OT)

The Lamar Smith game. Before Smith ended it with a 17-yard touchdown run, the Dolphins had to tie the game in the final minute on a touchdown pass from Jay Fiedler to tight end Jed Weaver and then watch Mike Vanderjagt miss a 49-yard field goal attempt after Coach Tony Dungy made the decision to decline an offside penalty on third-and-12 from the Miami 42 to an 11-yard gain to the 31 to set up the field goal attempt.

6. 1994 divisional playoffs — San Diego 22, Miami 21

The Dolphins race to a 21-6 halftime lead but the game turns on a second-half safety. But Dan Marino puts the Dolphins into field goal range in the final seconds before Pete Stoyanovich misses a 48-yard field goal attempt wide right.

7. 1972 divisional playoffs — Miami 20, Cleveland 14

This is the playoff game from the perfect season that gets the least recognition, but it's also the one where the Dolphins were in the most danger. The Dolphins actually found themselves trailing 14-13 with 8:11 left in regulation after a Cleveland touchdown before they regained the lead. Cleveland then drove to the Miami 34 on its final possession before linebacker Doug Swift clinched the victory with his second interception of the game.

8. 1985 divisional playoffs — Miami 24, Cleveland 21

A year after going to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins found themselves trailing 21-3 in the third quarter before they rallied for three touchdowns, the last two by fullback Ron Davenport. The Browns began their final drive with 1:57 left and two timeouts, but the game ended with a short completion to the Miami 46.

9. 1990 wild-card round — Miami 17, Kansas City 16

The Dolphins entered the fourth quarter trailing 16-3 but on the move after Sammie Smith converted a fourth-and-2 with a 2-yard run and took the lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Marino to Mark Clayton. But things looked bleak again when the Chiefs drove to a first-and-10 at the Miami 27 at the two-minute warning, but a holding penalty pushed Kansas City back and Nick Lowery later come up short on a game-deciding 52-yard field goal attempt.

10. 1999 wild-card round — Miami 20, Seattle 17

The last victory of Marino's Hall of Fame career was, fittingly enough, a come-from-behind affair with J.J. Johnson scoring the game-winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 4:48 left. Seattle had the ball twice after that, but cornerback Terrell Buckley sealed the outcome with an interception in the final minute.