A few weeks ago, we posted a story about the NFL planning to upload three classic games for every NFL team to YouTube. These would be full versions of those games, allowing fans to enjoy some of the best moments in league history.
If you don’t remember that story, you can check it out here.
The league has now started taking fan votes on Facebook for each of the 32 teams, allowing us to decide which games will be uploaded. Obviously, for us on The Phinsider, the most important piece of this centers on the Miami Dolphins. Which games are nominees for the YouTube treatment?
2004 Week 15 vs. New England Patriots
Miami was 2-11 heading into a Week 15 Monday Night Football meeting with their AFC East division rivals, while the Patriots were sitting at 12-1 and looking unstoppable. Things did not go well for Miami through most of the game. The team would only gain 231 total yards on the night, compared to 322 for the Patriots, with Miami picking up just 52 yards on the ground and 198 yards through the air. Quarterback A.J. Feeley would be sacked four times, and Patriots running back Corey Dillon would pounce to 121 rushing yards.
Except, something a little funny happened late in the game. The teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter, then Dillon put up a second New England touchdown in the second period, with Miami answering with an Olindo Mare 30-yard field goal, giving the Patriots a 14-10 advantage at halftime.
Miami took the lead in the third quarter on a Travis Minor touchdown run, only to have Dillon score again and push the Patriots back ahead 21-17 as the quarter ended. The Patriots then scored with just under four minutes remaining in the game, giving them what appeared to be a insurmountable 28-17 lead. Feeley took control of the Miami offense, directing a seven-play, 78-yard drive in 1:39, finding Sammy Morris, Randy McMichael, and Chris Chambers on the drive before Morris ran the ball in from one-yard out.
Now trailing 28-23 after a failed two-point conversion, Miami needed something big from their defense, and Brendon Ayanbadejo answered. After an incomplete pass from their 20-yard line and a one-yard Corey Dillon run, Tom Brady dropped back on 3rd-and-9, only to have Ayanbadejo pick off the pass intended for Daniel Graham, setting up Miami with the ball at the Patriots’ 21-yard line. Feeley would throw two incomplete passes before connecting with Derrius Thompson for the 21-yard touchdown and a 29-28 lead (again missing an two-point conversion attempt).
New England now had just over a minute to try to score, only to see Brady be sacked on first down by David Bowens, then have Arturo Freeman pick off a pass on second down, effectively ending a crazy Monday Night Football game.
By the end of the night, Miami’s defense had sacked Brady twice and picked off his passes four times, holding him to just 171 yards passing (though he did throw for three touchdowns). It really was a fun ending to what could have been an ugly game and would prove to be the last game New England would lose that year, eventually being crowned Super Bowl champions after a 14-2 regular season.
Super Bowl VII (The Perfect Season)
Not much really needs to be said about this game. The Dolphins completed the only Perfect Season in NFL history with a win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, moving them to 17-0 on the year and earning the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.
We have a full breakdown of Super Bowl VII that was posted last year.
Super Bowl VII saw Miami win 14-7, with safety Jake Scott earning MVP honors. Scott recorded two interceptions in the contest, defensive tackle Manny Fernandez had a 17-tackle game, fullback Larry Csonka ran for 112 yards, and quarterback Bob Griese threw for just 88 yards with one touchdown (to Howard Twilley).
1985 Week 13 vs. Chicago Bears (Monday Night Football)
The vote for which three games makes the YouTube upload from the NFL will be interesting, but the rest of the games listed may be fighting for just two spots, because this game is probably a guarantee to make the top three vote recipients. This is a special game for many Dolphins fans, and it kept Chicago from matching the team’s Perfect Season.
Miami entered the game with an 8-4 record, while the Bears were 12-0 and rolling through the season. A much-hyped Monday Night Football game, the Bears were looking to continue their march to perfection when Dan Marino dissected, eviscerated, and destroyed the much touted Chicago defense.
Chicago had no answer to Marino, who was throwing when the Bears expected run, and had the team running when the Bears expected pass. Miami never trailed in the game, and Chicago was only able to tie the game once, when they scored their first touchdown in the first quarter. Marino threw for 270 yards with three touchdown passes. The environment at the Orange Bowl was so loud, the Bears could not run their offense and the referees were forced to stop the game and ask Don Shula to try to get the fans to quiet down.
Miami left the game 9-4, and would not lose another game until the AFC Championship, coming one win away from a re-match with the Bears. Chicago would win the Super Bowl, but left this game without a shot at the undefeated season.
1994 Week 1 vs. New England (Marino vs. Bledsoe)
The 1994 season saw the return of Dan Marino after he tore his Achilles tendon the previous. There were question marks about whether Marino would still play like Marino coming off the injury, and he put those questions to rest in a Week 1 shootout with Drew Bledsoe.
By the end of a 39-35 win for Miami, Marino had thrown for 473 yards with five touchdowns, while Bledsoe threw for 421 yards with four touchdowns. Miami’s Terry Kirby was the leading rusher in the game, tallying 56 yards, while a combined seven players (including Kirby) for both teams surpassed that amount in receiving yardage - and Miami’s Scott Miller came up one receiving yard short of tying Kirby’s rushing yardage. Miami’s Irving Fryar caught five passes for 211 yards with three touchdowns, while New England’s Ben Coates caught eight passes for 161 yards with two touchdowns.
Fun fact from this game, there were actually 10 punts in a contest that featured nine passing, one rushing touchdown, and one field goal.
1994 Week 13 vs. New York Jets (Fake Spike Play)
The Fake Spike game is an all-time NFL classic, and the write-up for the game just has to be this:
To vote for your favorite of these games, you can use this embed from the Dolphins’ Facebook page: