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Dolphins History Lesson: Facing a Juggernaut

The Miami Dolphins have some experience facing teams coming in with gaudy records, as they will when the Kansas City Chiefs come to Hard Rock Stadium

The Miami Dolphins will face quite the challenge Sunday when they face the Kansas City Chiefs, who will come to Hard Rock Stadium sporting an 11-1 record that's tied for best in the NFL.

This will mark the fifth time the Dolphins will face a team coming in with a record of 11-1 or better (at least 11 wins and no more than one loss), and the first since 2007 when they were 1-13 and had to face the 14-0 New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

That one didn't work out well for the Dolphins, who were on the short end of a 28-7 final score, but they won the other three matchups — all of them in Miami.

Let's look at those in reverse chronological order:

2004 — Dolphins 29, Patriots 28

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This game might go down as the biggest upset history in franchise history. The Dolphins were suffering through a miserable 2-11 season when they prepared for a Monday night game against New England, which was coming off a Super Bowl title and had a 12-1 record on its way to a second consecutive championship. The Dolphins, wearing orange jerseys on this night, trailed 28-17 in the fourth quarter before A.J. Feeley engineered a comeback that was capped by a fourth-down touchdown pass to Derrius Thompson. Two late takeaways by the Dolphins defense helped secure the victory.

1998 — Dolphins 31, Broncos 21

This Week 16 matchup had the makings of an electric night in Miami after Denver started the season 13-0, but the Broncos suffered their first loss (against the Giants) the week before they came down to Miami. The Dolphins, who came in with a 9-5 record, made it two losses in a row when Dan Marino connected with Lamar Thomas for three touchdown passes. Marino added a fourth touchdown pass to Oronde Gadsden as he outdueled John Elway, though Elway and the Broncos got their revenge in the playoffs when they defeated the Dolphins 38-3 in Denver on their way to a second consecutive Super Bowl title.

1985 — Dolphins 38, Bears 24

Among the most famous games in Dolphins history and the one many fans would consider the best victory, the Dolphins ended the Bears' dreams of a perfect season at 12-0. This one wasn't as close as the final score would suggest because the Dolphins took a 31-10 lead into halftime. The Dolphins solved the Bears' 46 defense with a lot of quick passing and Marino completed 14 of 27 passes for 270 passes and three touchdowns — all of his completions went to wide receivers Mark Clayton, Mark Duper and Nat Moore. The Dolphins, incidentally, entered that game with the same 8-4 record the 2020 team currently has. The biggest shame of that 1985 season was that a potential Dolphins-Bears Super Bowl rematch was thwarted when the Dolphins suffered a 31-14 loss against New England at the Orange Bowl in the AFC Championship Game.