This weekend features the Miami Dolphins renewing their oldest AFC East division rivalry as they face off against the New York Jets. Back in 1966, the Dolphins and the Jets faced off in the Dolphins’ second-ever game. After losing to the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 that season, Miami had the Joe Namath-led Jets come down to South Florida to visit the Orange Bowl. The game started with the Jets scoring a safety in the first quarter, then backing up that up with a touchdown.
The second quarter went scoreless before the Jets tacked on another 10 points in the third quarter. Miami would score their first 14 points against the Jets in the fourth quarter, with Rick Norton throwing a 43-yard touchdown pass to Dave Kocourek and Pete Jaquess returning an interception 27 yards for a score.
The 19-14 loss to the Jets was the first of eight straight losses, including both games in New York’s Super Bowl III championship season. Miami’s first victory against New York came in Week 4 of the 1970 season, with Bob Griese leading the Dolphins over Namath and the Jets in New York’s Shea Stadium. The Jets opened the scoring with a field goal in the first period, to which the Dolphins responded with a nine-yard pass from Griese to Paul Warfield for a touchdown.
The Jets kicked a second field goal in the second quarter, the only scoring in the period and the last of the points New York would tally on the day. Miami saw Garo Yepremian kick a field goal in the third period, then in the fourth quarter, Griese connected with Howard Twilley on a three-yard pass for a touchdown and Yepremian added another field goal, Miami beat the Jets for the first time in 1970, coming away with the 20-6 win.
Miami would sweep the Jets in 1970, then lose the first matchup in 1971 before ripping off 12 wins over the next 13 meetings. Over the following eight meetings, ranging from 1978 through 1981, the Jets won seven meetings, with one tie.
The Dolphins and Jets have met once in the postseason, taking their rivalry to the AFC Championship game following the 1982 season. Both teams pitched first-half shutouts, but the Dolphins finally broke through the in second half. Woody Bennett scored a touchdown on a seven-yard rush in the third quarter, then A.J. Duhe returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Miami won the game 14-0, with the Jets totaling 139 yards of offense in the game, while Miami tallied 198 yards. Jets quarterback Richard Todd threw for 103 yards but was picked off five times, while Miami’s quarterback, David Woodley, threw for just 87 yards on 9-for-21 passing, with three interceptions.
The 1983 NFL Draft featured both the Jets and the Dolphins looking to address a need at the quarterback position. The Baltimore Colts, also in the AFC East, used the first overall selection on quarterback John Elway. With the seventh-overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs took another quarterback off the board with a selection of Todd Blackledge. Back-to-back AFC East picks at 14 and 15 saw both the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots add quarterbacks of their own, with Buffalo selecting Jim Kelly and the Patriots picking up Tony Eason. New York came up on the clock with the 24th pick, using the selection to add Ken O’Brien. The Dolphins then used the 27th overall pick to add Dan Marino. In one draft, all five teams in the division selected a quarterback in the first round, though the Colts traded Elway away almost immediately after selecting him.
O’Brien played for the Jets through the 1992 season, playing one additional season with the Philadelphia Eagles. In nine seasons of play with New York, O’Brien threw for 24,386 yards with 124 touchdowns and 95 interceptions, giving him an 81.0 passer rating. He was selected to two Pro Bowls.
Marino played 17 seasons in the NFL, all with the Dolphins. He threw for a then-record 61,361 yards with a then-record 420 touchdowns and 252 interceptions. He had a career passer rating of 86.4. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls, including in his rookie season, and was a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection. He left the league in passing yards five times and in touchdown passes three times. In 1984, he threw for 5,084 yards, the first quarterback to ever reach the 5,000 passing yard mark, with another quarterback not reaching that milestone until 2008. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
In recent years, the Dolphins have had the Jets’ number, winning each of the last four meetings and 10 of the last 12. The overall series has Miami leading 56-55-1 in the regular season. The .504 winning percentage by the Dolphins makes them one of just four teams in the NFL to have a winning record against every team in their division after at least 100 games played against each of the other teams (Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, and Green Bay Packers in the NFC North). Using the same 100-game metric, the Jets are one of three teams in the league to have a losing record against all of their respective division rivals (Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West and Detroit Lions in the NFC North).
The most recent contest, a Week 15 contest last year, was in Miami. The Jets jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and held a 17-10 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, the Dolphins drew even, then took the lead early in the fourth quarter on a pass from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who was in the game as a fullback. The Jets pulled even mid-way through the quarter on a pick-six when Brandin Echols returned an interception 20 yards for the score. Miami put the game away with an 11-yard pass from Tagovailoa to DeVante Parker as the final quarter wound down. Miami beat New York 31-24.
Dolphins vs. Jets Superlatives
|Most Rushing Yards in a game||178 (Lamar Miller, 12/28/14)||173 (Freeman McNeil, 10/14/85)|
|Most Passing Yards in a game||521 (Dan Marino, 10/23/88)||479 (Ken O'Brien, 9/21/86)|
|Most Receptions in a game||13 (Jarvis Landry, 11/29/15)||14 (Al Toon, 11/27/88)|
|Most Receiving Yards in a game||217 (Mark Duper, 11/10/85)||221 (Eric Decker, 12/28/14)|
|Largest Margin of Victory||43 (MIA 43 at NYJ 0, 10/19/75)||27 (twice, last NYJ 40 at MIA 13, 12/2/07)|
|Longest Win Streak||7 (9/12/82 - 11/26/84)||8 (twice, last 10/4/98-11/18/01)|
|Most Points (single team)||52 (NYJ 14 at MIA 52, 9/3/95)||51 (Miami 45 at New York 51 (OT), 9/21/86)|
|Most Points (combined)||96 (MIA 45 at NYJ 51 (OT), 9/21/86)|
|Fewest Points (single team)||0 (NYJ 24 at MIA 0, 11/18/01)||0 (four times, last NYJ 0 at MIA 24, 10/18/20)|
|Fewest Points (combined)||14 (NYJ 0 at MIA 14, 1/23/83 (AFC Championship Game))|