We are closing in on football games that actually mean something, but there's still some time to talk about non football activities. Specifically, we are going to take a look at the Miami Dolphins alternate uniform - the bright orange jersey.
The Dolphins have used multiple combinations of their regular uniforms for years. Traditionally, the team will wear white jerseys and pants at home for day games, then switch it up with the aqua jersey for night home games. Miami will switch to aqua pants with the white jersey on the road, and every once in a while, they will break out the aqua on aqua combination. But, nothing was as dramatic as the introduction of the orange jersey in 2003.
The Dolphins first wore the orange jersey on November 23, 2003 for a Sunday night game in Miami. They defeated the Washington Redskins 24-23 in that contest, with Jay Fiedler and Brian Griese splitting the quarterback duties that day. Griese had a team high 133 yards on 8-for-13 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. Fiedler added 59 yards on 5-for-10 passing. Ricky Williams rushed 23 times for 107 yards and two scores, while James McKnight pulled in three passes for 96 yards, and the Griese touchdown pass. The Dolphins defense saw Brock Marion bring in an interception, while Jason Taylor added two sacks.
Just over a year later, on December 20, 2004, the Dolphins again broke out the orange jersey, this time in a Monday night game against the New England Patriots. Miami was 2-11 heading into the game, but we able to have A.J. Feeley go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady. Feeley finished the game with a 22-for-35, 198 yards, 1 touchdown stat line, compared to Brady's 18-for-29, 171 yards, 3 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Travis Minor and Sammy Morris each rushed for 27 yards, with Minor finding the endzone once, while Morris got there twice.As for the defense, Taylor and David Bowen each tallied a sack, while Sammy Knight grabbed two of Brady's four picks, with Arturo Freeman and Brendon Ayanbadejo each having one. The only person to return kicks or punts for the Dolphins in the game, with a 27.8 average on five kicks, and a massive 43.5 return average on two punts, for Wes Welker. The Dolphins would win the game 29-28, improving to 3-11 on the year, while dropping New England to 12-2.
The jersey would disappear after that game, making its return five seasons later in a Monday night game against the New York Jets. Chad Henne would lead the Dolphins to their third win in three contests wearing the orange, completing 20 of 26 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. The two headed rushing attack for the Dolphins say Rick Williams carry the ball 11 times for 68 yards and Ronnie Brown carried 21 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins would score 21 points in the fourth quarter to put away the Jets 31-27.
Miami has worn the jersey one more time, a Sunday night game in 2010, again against the Jets. Henne would throw for 363 yards on 26-for-44 passing, with two touchdowns and one interception, while Mark Sanchez would go 15-for-28 for 256 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Marshall would lead the game in receptions (10) and yards (166), with one touchdown, while Davone Bess and Brian Hartline would add 86 yards and 84 yards respectively. Brown would lead the Dolphins with 54 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Williams would only get 28 yards on 7 carries. Jason Taylor would record a sack - unfortunately it would be for the Jets on Henne in Taylor's one season with Miami's hated division rival.
The 2010 game would be the only time the Dolphins have lost in the orange jersey, dropping the game 31-23.
The Dolphins only have one prime time game this year, playing in Buffalo in Week 11, so there really in no chance for Miami to break out the hideously beautiful jerseys this year. Hopefully in the upcoming years, the Dolphins will be able to have more opportunities to break out the orange jersey again.