Howard Twilley was a 5'10" wide receiver out of Tulsa. He finished second in the 1965 voting for the Heisman Trophy award. After completing college, he was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 12th round of the 1966 AFL Draft with the 101st overall pick and by the Minnesota Vikings in the 14th round of the 1966 NFL Draft. As a rookie with the expansion Dolphins in 1966, Twilley appeared in six games, catching a total of 10 passes for 128 yards. The Dolphins finished 3-11, well out of contention.
Twilley would see his role with the Dolphins increase in 1967, starting five of 14 games for Miami, and catching 24 passes for 314 yards, good for third on the Dolphins, and two touchdowns. This includes a five catch performance in a week 10 17-14 victory over the Buffalo Bills for 92 yards and one touchdown. Miami finished the season 4-10.
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Twilley set career highs with 39 catches and 604 yards in 1968, his yardage total second only to split end Karl Noonan. He started all 14 games at the flanker position for Miami. He had a seven catch, 124 yard game in a 34-28 loss to the San Diego Chargers in week eight. The Dolphins posted a 5-8-1 record.
In 1969, Miami was 3-10-1. Twilley only caught 10 passes for 158 yards over four games, missing the balance of the season due to injury. The AFL would merge with the NFL after Super Bowl IV, occuring simultaneously with the Dolphin's hiring of coach Don Shula.
1970 would mark a vast improvement in Miami's win-loss record, finishing 10-4 before losing to the Oakland Raiders, 21-14 in the divisional playoff game. Twilley finished third on the Dolphins with 22 catches for 281 yards and a career high five touchdowns, catching one touchdown in each of the last three games of the regular season.
Twilley had his first two touchdown game in a week five 41-3 victory over the New England Patriots, catching a total of five passes for 98 yards. He started 12 of 14 games for Miami, amassing 349 yards, good for second on the Dolphins, on 23 catches for four touchdowns. Miami posted a 10-3-1 record and advanced to Super Bowl VI, where they were trounced by the Dallas Cowboys, 24-3.
Miami finished perfect in 1972, 17-0. Twilley finished second on the Dolphins with 20 catches for 364 yards and four touchdowns. He scored one of two Miami touchdowns in Super Bowl VII, on a 28 yard strike from Bob Griese to put the Dolphins out on top, 7-0. They would eventually win the game, 14-7.
Twilley was slowed by injury in 1973, appearing in only six games and catching a grand total of two passes for 30 yards. The Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl Champions, dispatching the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII after posting a 12-2 regular season record.
Miami stayed in contention in 1974, winning the AFC East with an 11-3 record as Twilley started in four of 13 games. He made 24 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns.
1975 would see Miami finish 10-4 but miss out on the playoffs for the first time in the Don Shula era. For his part, Twilley finished second on the Dolphins with 24 receptions for 366 yards and four touchdowns, starting eight of 14 games at wide reciever. This included the second two touchdown performance of Twilley's career, in a week 12 31-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Twilley started six of eight games for the Dolphins in 1976, making 14 receptions for 214 yards and one score. Miami finished out of contention with a 6-8 record.
Twilley appeared in a total of 120 games for the Dolphins, making 73 starts at wide reciever over 11 seasons. He scored 23 touchdowns on 212 catches for 3,064 yards.