The 100 Greatest Plays in Dolphins History: No. 44

Combining the countdown to the start of the Dolphins regular season with the best plays in franchise history
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To help count down the days to the start of the Miami Dolphins regular season last year, we marked each day with the corresponding jersey number and came up with the three best players to wear that number.

This year, we're counting down to the start of the regular season with a countdown of the top 100 plays in Dolphins history.

Given that the Dolphins have played 849 regular season games and 41 more in the playoffs, it's an awfully difficult task to narrow things down to 100 plays and then rank them. The plays selected were ranked on the basis of difficulty, uniqueness, immediate and long-lasting impact and historical significance.

The countdown initially appeared in Dolphin Digest in 2019 but has been updated.

We continue with No. 44:

No. 44: The Intentional Safety vs. Pittsburgh in 1973

Setting the stage: The 1973 Dolphins didn't manage to go undefeated as they had the previous year, but they went on to win the Super Bowl just the same. One of the most memorable victories along the way was a Monday night battle against the emerging Pittsburgh Steelers in a rematch of the 1972 AFC Championship Game. The star of the night in the Dolphins' 30-26 victory was safety Dick Anderson, who set a still-standing team record with four interceptions, but it wasn't the headline-grabbing moment of the game. That play came with the Dolphins leading 30-24 but facing a fourth-and-6 from their 6-yard line with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter.

The play: "Shula is ahead of us all" is the way ABC television commentator Howard Cosell described things after quarterback Bob Griese took the snap from under the center and then began steadily running backward, all the way through the back of the end zone. With the safety, the Dolphins maintained their lead of more than a field goal but gave themselves a lot more room from which to punt and subsequently flipped the field with that one move. The Steelers didn't threaten in that final minute and the Dolphins had a 10th consecutive victory to give them an 11-1 record on the season.

The No. 100 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 99 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 98 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 97 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 96 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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The No. 94 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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The No. 92 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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The No. 90 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 89 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 88 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 87 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 86 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 85 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 84 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 83 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 82 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 81 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 80 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 79 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 78 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 77 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 76 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 75 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 74 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 73 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 72 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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The No. 70 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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The No. 68 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 67 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 66 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 65 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 64 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 63 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 62 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 61 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 60 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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The No. 58 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 57 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 56 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 55 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 54 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 53 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 52 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 51 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 50 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 49 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 48 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 47 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 46 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 45 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

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Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL. Feel free to submit questions every Friday for the All Dolphins mailbag.