What are the best moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. Marino’s Fake Spike
All seemed lost in 1994 when the Dolphins were up against the Jets. Miami trailed 24-6 when Dan Marino decided to remind everyone why he’s the greatest of all time. He threw four touchdown passes in the second half, including the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter that is, well, unforgettable. Trailing 24-21 with under 30 seconds to play, Marino had driven the Dolphins to the Jets’ eight-yard line. With the clock winding down, Marino signaled to his team to line up quickly so he could spike the ball and stop the clock. But instead of spiking the ball, Marino took the snap and, much to the surprise of the flat-footed Jets’ defense, whipped a pass to Mark Ingram’s back shoulder for a game-winning touchdown. The Dolphins went on to the playoffs, while the Jets didn’t win another game that season.
4. The Winningest Coach of All Time
Aside from his two Super Bowl victories, one of Don Shula’s greatest moments came in a 1993 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sitting on 324 wins, Shula needed one more to break George Halas’ record and become the winningest coach in NFL history. The Dolphins actually trailed at the half, but a pair of second-half field goals put them ahead and Shula into the history books and onto the backs of his players’ shoulders. Shula eventually retired with 347 victories, still the record. He retired with a .677 winning percentage.
3. Beating the Unbeatable ‘85 Chicago Bears
Maybe it’s because Miami is the only NFL franchise to ever go undefeated that a mostly meaningless regular-season game in November is on this list. This one happened in Week 13 of the 1985 season, as the dominating Chicago Bears came in with a 12-0 record and looking to match the ‘72 Dolphins perfect season. But the Dolphins, 8-4 coming in, were hardly a walkover. The Bears were, after all, only two-point favorites. And by halftime it was evident perfection would be no longer as the Dolphins raced out to a 31-10 lead en route to a 38-24 victory. The ’85 Dolphins were indeed protecting the legacy of the ’72 team.
2. Dan Marino throws 48 touchdown passes
In 1984, the single-season passing touchdown record was 36. That season, Dan Marino threw for 48. Not until Kurt Warner in 1999 did anyone (besides Marino) break the 40-touchdown barrier. This is to say that Marino’s ‘84 season, long before the NFL became a pass-happy league, was an outlier on the level of Bob Beamon breaking the world record long jump by nearly two feat. Beamon’s record stood for 23 years. Marino’s stood for 20 and even still ranks fourth all time, a testament to how ahead of his time Marino was. The burning question now: How many touchdowns would he throw if he were playing today?
1. The Dolphins’ Perfect Season
The Dolphins beat the Redskins in Super Bowl VII to complete the first (and to this day only) perfect season in NFL history, then came back a year later to win back-to-back Super bowls in arguably the most dominant two-year stretch the league has ever seen. In those two seasons, Miami lost only two games and trailed in the playoffs only twice, and only once in the fourth quarter.