NFL Team by Team Guide: Miami Dolphins

NFL Team by Team Guide: Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins franchise was founded in 1966 by Joe Robbie and actor Danny Thomas. The team first played in the American Football League (AFL) before joining the NFL in 1970 as a result of the AFL-NFL merger.

Miami would play in its first Super Bowl in 1971 and the Dolphins would become the only team in NFL history to achieve a perfect season in 1972. Miami went 14-0 in the regular season and then won Super Bowl VIII.

Because of the Dolphins’ history, they are always a big draw on Monday Night Football. Miami fans can watch nationally and regionally televised games on a variety of channels such as ESPN, FOX Sports, and CBS. Viewers can also watch games on TV and stream them from a number of services like Amazon Prime Video, YouTubeTV, fuboTV, CBS All Access, and AT&T TV Now.

Home of the Dolphins

The Dolphins began play in 1966 at the old Orange Bowl Stadium. They moved to what was then called Joe Robbie Stadium in 1987 where they have been ever since. The venue has had numerous name changes through the years. Today, it is known as Hard Rock Stadium and it holds a capacity crowd of 64,764 fans.

Championship History

The Miami franchise has a long history of success though not much of that success has been recently. Miami won division titles in four of its first five seasons in the NFL. The Dolphins have a total of 13 division crowns (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1994, 2000, and 2008).

The Dolphins have won five AFC championships winning three straight from 1971 to 1973 and two more in 1982 and 1984. Miami won Super Bowls VII and VIII becoming the second team to win consecutive Lombardi Trophies.

Miami has 23 playoff appearances, the most recent coming in 2016. They have not played in a Super Bowl since 1984.

Best of the Dolphins

That only perfect season in NFL history was led by Miami head coach Don Shula in 1972. Shula spent 33 years as an NFL head coach, 26 of them with the Dolphins. He led Miami to three straight Super Bowls winning in 1972 and 1973. Shula is the all-time winningest coach in the history of the NFL with 347 victories. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Shula’s dominant Dolphins’ teams of the 1970s included a Hall of Fame quarterback named Bob Griese. The former Purdue signal caller became the first quarterback to lead a team to three straight Super Bowls. Griese was a six-time Pro Bowl selection , a two-time All-Pro, and he won the NFL’s MVP award in 1971.

Also on those ‘70s teams were fullback Larry Csonka and guard Larry Little. Csonka was a big, bruising running back who could block as well. He went to five Pro Bowls and was a three-time All-Pro. He was named the MVP of Super Bowl VIII. After playing for the New York Giants for three seasons, Csonka returned to Miami and won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award in 1979. After that season, he retired.

Little was the catalyst behind the Dolphins outstanding running game of the 1970s. Undrafted, Little would go on to five Pro Bowls and seven different All-Pro selections. He was part of both the Super Bowl VII and VIII victories and was eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with Csonka.

Dan Marino held more than 40 NFL records when he retired from the NFL in 1999. He led the NFL in passing yards five times, won the MVP in 1984, the Comeback Player of the Year award in 1994, and led Shula and the Dolphins to their last Super Bowl in 1984.

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Author: Dan Anderson