Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills

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The Miami Dolphins are one of the most famous teams in American Football and compete in the American Football Conference (AFC) East Division as part of the National Football League (NFL). With headquarters in Davie, Florida they play their games at the Hard Rock Stadium, which is located in Miami Gardens, a suburban city that is situated in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Along with the Atlanta Falcons, the Miami Dolphins are the oldest NFL teams in the southern half of the USA, with the Dolphins being the oldest American Football Conference team in the region. Founded by politician, Joe Robbie, and actor, Danny Thomas, the Miami Dolphins first played in the American Football League between 1966 to 1969 before joining the American Football Conference and the NFL in 1970 where they remain to this day.

Fast Facts

  • Full Name: Miami Dolphins
  • Conference: American Football Conference
  • Division: East
  • Location: Miami
  • Stadium Name: Hard Rock Stadium
  • Year Established: 1956
  • Owner: Stephen M Ross
  • Head Coach: Adam Gase
  • Manager: Chris Grier
  • Nickname: The Fins
  • Mascot: T.D.
  • Team Colours: Aqua, orange white, marine

History

Former Dolphins Quarterback, Dan Marino

Former Dolphins Quarterback, Dan Marino

(Debby Wong / bigstockphoto.com)

Prior to the formation of the Miami Dolphins in 1966, Miami did have a professional American football team called the Miami Seahawks. Playing in the All America Football Conference (AAFC) in its inaugural 1946 season, they sadly lasted only one year before being confiscated by the AAFC due to debts of over $300,000. The club’s assets were sold and were brought by a group of financial speculators who reorganized it into what was to become the original incarnation of the Baltimore Colts.

It was not until the 1960s that there was another professional American football team in the Miami area. Politician, Joseph Robbie, and actor, Danny Thomas, teamed up and were awarded an expansion team franchise by the AFL. Originally, this was going to be in the Philadelphia area but they were persuaded by the AFL’s commissioner to choose Miami instead. Following a competition open to the public to name the team, the team was christened the Miami Dolphins and played in the American Football League from 1966 to 1969.

The 1970s saw the team join the American Football Conference and the NFL and their early years were successful, being the first ever team to get to the AFC Championship for three seasons in a row. In 1972, they won the NFL title after a 14 game undefeated run and finished the season by beating the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. The following season was successful too, ending in them beating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII in Houston. 1974 saw them reach the playoffs again but they were unsuccessful against the Oakland Raiders and after the season they lost three of their best players to the World Football League – Csonka, Warfield and Kiick.

After losing such high calibre players, the next few years were generally unsuccessful for the Miami Dolphins but 1983 saw rookie quarterback, Dan Marino, make his first appearance for the Dolphins. Dan Marino would go on to become one of the greatest ever quarterbacks to play in the NFL breaking countless records and during his time there between 1983 and 2000. Amazingly, during this time the Dolphins only won one AFC Championship and only made one Super Bowl appearance in 1984, losing to the San Francisco 49ers. However, thanks to Marino and other top class players, the team became one of the biggest names in NFL history with supporters around the world. Since Marino left the Dolphins, sadly more AFC Championships and Super Bowl appearances have eluded them.

Super Bowl Appearances

1984 Super Bowl XIX San Francisco 49ers 38 - Miami Dolphins 16

The Miami Dolphins’ most recent appearance in the Super Bowl. Played at the Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California in front of a crowd of 84,000, it saw the Dolphins lose to the San Francisco 49ers 38 - 16. One bright point for the Dolphins, however, was the fact that Joe Montana was named the night’s Most Valuable Player.

1982 Super Bowl XVII Washington Redskins 27 - Miami Dolphins 17

In front of 103,000 fans at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, Super Bowl XVII saw the Washington Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins by 27 - 17. Played after a troubling and short season thanks to the players’ strike it was a replay of Super Bowl VII although sadly not in terms of result for the Dolphins.

1973 Super Bowl VIII Miami Dolphins 24 - Minnesota Vikings 7

The Miami Dolphins third consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl. Played at the Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas, the Dolphins eventually ran out 24 - 7 winners over the Minnesota Vikings and became the first team since the Green Bay Packers to win two successive Super Bowls. The Dolphins’ Larry Csonka became the first ever running back to be named Most Valuable Player.

1972 Super Bowl VII Miami Dolphins 14 - Washington Redskins 7

Super Bowl VII was the second ever appearance in the Super Bowl for the Miami Dolphins, this year's being played at the LA Memorial Coliseum. Their appearance was following a completely unbeaten season, winning every one of their 14 games. This remains a record to this day. Trailing 7 - 0 after the first two quarters, the Miami Dolphins are only ever Super Bowl team to be shut out in the second half and still win, eventually beating the Washington Redskins 14 - 7.

1971 Super Bowl VI Dallas Cowboys 24 - Miami Dolphins 3

Played at the Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, this was the first appearance in the Super Bowl for the Miami Dolphins. Despite the Dallas Cowboys' reputation at the time for struggling in the big games that mattered most, the Dolphins were outplayed and outclassed and they were soundly beaten 24 - 3.

Stadium

Sun Life Stadium

Hard Rock Stadium, formerly known as the Sun Life Stadium

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The Miami Dolphin's first ever stadium was the Orange Bowl in Miami. Situated in Little Havana, it was also host to the Miami Hurricanes college football team. It played host to the Dolphins’ home games for the team’s first 21 seasons.

In 1987, the Dolphins moved to the newly built Joe Robbie stadium in Miami Gardens. Named after one of the co-founders of the team, it has since had several names including the Pro Player Stadium, the Dolphins Stadium, the Dolphin Stadium, Land Shark Stadium, and the Sun Life Stadium. It is now known as the Hard Rock Stadium and was subject to a full renovation during the 2015 - 16 season. Once again, the venue is shared with the college football team, the Miami Hurricanes, and it has hosted five Super Bowls in the past (XXIII, XXIX,XXXIII, XLI and XLIV), as well as some other large scale events. It has a capacity of 65,326 for football games but this can be expanded for events, such as wrestling where Wrestlemania XXVIII saw an audience of 78,363 come and watch.

Famous Players

Dan Marino (1983 - 1999)

The most famous player ever to play for the Dolphins he is a true giant of the game and one of the best quarterbacks ever. Despite having never been on the winning side of a Super Bowl, he is the holder of dozens of NFL records and will always be remembered for his quick release and powerful, accurate arm.

Larry Csonka (1969 - 1974)

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Larry Csonka was a member of the Miami Dolphins team that had the perfect record winning all 14 of their games and the Super Bowl during the 1972 season. A fullback, he is recognised as one of the best ever to play in this position.

Paul Warfield (1970 - 1974)

Also a player in the Miami Dolphins undefeated season, Paul Warfield was a wide receiver who was well known for his sporting prowess on the field being a quick, graceful and fluid wide receiver who had fantastic jumping and catching ability. Prior to his successful spell at the Dolphins, he played for Cleveland Browns.

Did You Know?

  • The Miami Dolphins are the only team in the NFL ever to have a perfect season as they did in 1972.
  • Don Shula who coached the Dolphins, as well as the Baltimore Colts, holds the most wins of any coach in the NFL with a total of 347.
  • A game between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs is the longest in NFL history -  played On Christmas Day in 1971, it lasted 82 minutes and 40 seconds with the Dolphins winning by 27 - 24.