Best Dolphin Teams that Didn't Reach the Super Bowl

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by SF Dolphin Fan, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Here's my short-list. Can't wait for training camp.

    1. 1974 11-3
    Lost to Oakland in the infamous Sea of Hands game. Miami would have played Pittsburgh at home in the Orange Bowl for the AFC title.

    2. 1985 12-4
    Miami was the best team in the AFC IMO. Lost to NE in AFC Championship in a stinker of a game.

    3. 1983 12-4
    This team gets forgotten a little bit. Lost to Seahawks in a close divisional playoff. Had the talent to get to the super bowl.

    4. 1990 12-4
    Won wildcard, but lost to Bills in next round.

    5. 1992 11-5
    Shutout the Chargers to open the playoffs, but couldn't get past Buffalo.

    6. 1994 10-6
    Miami won in the wildcard round, but couldn't hold onto a big lead against San Diego in the divisional round. I remember thinking this was Marino's last chance. Sad way to end the season in a game that should have been won.
     
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  2. JG13

    JG13 Active Member

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    Good list...crazy we were a wildcard in 1990 with a 12-4 record.
     
  3. Bopkin02

    Bopkin02 Seasoned Veteran

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    Man, that list is good.
    The 1992 team started 6-0 but finished the season 5-5 with a stagnating offense. I remember thinking we would beat Buffalo to get to the Super Bowl but they destroyed us. That team may not have been as good as perceived.
    Had the 2002 team not suffered brutal injuries during the season(Fiedler replaced by Lucas, Chris Chambers and Oronde Gadsden missed key time) maybe, just maybe...I'd like to mention that team as well. That defense and Ricky's running would have been an interesting matchup vs Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl that year.
     
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  4. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Unfortunately, the Dolphins just didn't match-up with Buffalo during that time period.
     
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  5. rickd13

    rickd13 Scout Team

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    I was 8 years old when I cried my eyes out after the "sea of hands game". Miami got so screwed the whole game plus that miracle game winning td pass by Stabler. Ugh. That team clearly had the best chance to win a Super Bowl out of all the teams on that list. I don't think that '85 team could have beaten the Bears again if they would have made it to the Super Bowl. I was at the '92 playoff shutout of San Diego. That was fun.
     
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  6. JG13

    JG13 Active Member

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    Did a little research and here's a brutal stat...the Dolphins lost 15 of 18 games against the Bills from 1987 thru 1994

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Sons Of Shula

    Sons Of Shula not a dull boy Hammered Super Donator Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Yep.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    I was 9 and embarrassed to admit I cried as well. That was such an emotional game. One of the greatest ever played. Re-watching it always brings back those emotions, from the non-call on the Warfield pass interference play, to almost sacking Stabler, scoring too fast. I always felt like the Dolphins were robbed, like the football Gods evened the score for the Raiders losing the "Immaculate Reception" game against Pittsburgh. Two miracle wins one for and one against.

    I agree that was the team with the best chance to go the distance. Miami versus Pittsburgh at the Orange Bowl for the AFC title could have been special. Feel confident the Dolphins would have beaten Minnesota in a super bowl rematch.
     
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  9. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Yikes. I knew it was bad. Buffalo definitely had Miami's number much like the Dolphins had the Bills number in the 70's (20 straight wins I believe). I remember for a short time when Miami got Keith Jackson it looked like the Dolphins had bridged the gap.
     
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  10. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Anyone think the 1983 team could have gone far? That team was one year removed from a super bowl appearance and still had the Killer Bees on defense, plus a "pretty good" rookie quarterback.

    The loss to Seattle in the first round was unexpected.
     
  11. Atila

    Atila Atila - the freshmaker. Finheaven VIP

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    If we made it to that superbowl there is a 99% chance we score 0 pts in that game. I mean, our defense was solid, but we lose that game 13-0 or 16-3 or something, wouldn't have been that close.
     
  12. BlueFin

    BlueFin Seer of Visions Finheaven VIP

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    74' without debate IMO.
     
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  13. daryl

    daryl Well-Known Member

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    The Bills were busy drafting Hall of Famers in the 80's while the Dolphins were busy drafting Eric Kumerow, Jackie Shipp, Sammie Smith, etc....
     
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  14. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    This team - aside from the '74 team - IMO - was the best of all of them. As you say, one year removed from going to the SB and still had a very good D. In fact it was the D that kept them alive at .500 early in the year when the offense was struggling behind Woolley. Enter Marino and suddenly this ground and pound team was flicking long TDs all over the field. They still had Andra Franklin to pound the rock and Nathan and Bennett each had decent season in the RB by committee system. That Seattle game was a tragedy - done in by weather and a muddy field that I believe were factors in Fulton Walker's back to back KO return fumbles that did us in. The Raiders were good that year - obviously. Don't know if we would have beaten them but I believe the '83 team was the most balanced - D, run and pass - team of the bunch outside of the '74 one.
     
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  15. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Honestly, I don't remember much about that 1983 playoff game. I do remember thinking that Miami and Oakland would meet for the AFC title. Maybe the Dolphins felt the same way and overlooked Seattle a bit.

    That was a talented team that certainly could have won it. Most of those 1990's teams likely wouldn't have won a title if they advanced to the super bowl. I don't think the 1994 team would have had much of a chance against the 49ers as an example. But, the 1983 team could have challenged the Redskins and won a title.
     
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  16. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    it was crushing. We were the better team on a rain-soaked, muddy field all day but couldn't seem to cash in enough and pad our lead. Still, w a few minutes left to play we are up 20-17. Seattle would mount a drive and score a TD to go up 24-20. I remember thinking, it's ok, Marino has plenty of time. Sadly, he would never get on the field. Walker, the hero for us the year prior in the SB (MVP had we won the game), runs the KO and fumbles to Seattle. Game over, right? Somehow the D gets a quick stop and Seattle kicks a short FG. 27-20 - still a chance for Dan. Kick off. Walker. Fumble again. Game over. Not sure if they took them lightly but it was a big upset. Just one of those games where you don't put the enemy away and in the last 3 minutes you blow the game.
     
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  17. SmokyFin

    SmokyFin Starter

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    If Dan doesn't go down in 93 that team had the best chance of getting to the SB of any team since 85.
     
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  18. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    That team was good too and the Bills were starting to wane. In fact we had already blown them out in Bufflo early that year. I think we were 4-1 w Dan having the best year of his career from a QBR standpoint.
     
  19. Etuoo33

    Etuoo33 Seasoned Veteran

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    Barfalo, having very early picks is the previous 10 years of drafts finally got enough talent to be dominate. They couldn't have done it without us beating them something like 20 times in a row. They still have NO Super Bowl rings....
     
  20. steevieb22

    steevieb22 Rookie

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    That team was very good and it wasn't just the Marino injury that did them in. They were decimated by injuries and played poorly after Thanksgiving when Troy Vincent blew out his knee on a punt return against Pittsburgh. Dallas was by far the best team in the league (I know we beat them on Thanksgiving), and the chances of beating them again without Marino were small.
     
  21. Bopkin02

    Bopkin02 Seasoned Veteran

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    Shula had a very difficult time beating the Raiders until 1992. I think had we beat Seattle in 1983, we still lose to Oakland the following week. We just couldn't match up with them.
    I'm not sure we would have beaten Tampa Bay in 2002, but to say 99% chance we score zero points is a bit extreme. Tampa Bay looked so dominant in the Bowl against the Raiders because their coach (Gruden) knew everything about Gannon and the Raiders offense and knew how to beat them. We were a totally different machine. I'm not saying we would have won- it just would have been a very interesting, defense-dominated slugfest. Remember, tampa bay back then didn't have a whole lot to counter with on offense either.
     
  22. 39wildman

    39wildman A True Fan

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    71,74 and 85. 85 team would win sb against bears
     
  23. montequi

    montequi Middle Timer

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    Great list!
     
  24. DolfanISS

    DolfanISS Perennial All-Pro Finheaven VIP

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    2002 hurt! We beat Oakland and it seemed like the sky was the limit but then couldn't close against Minny and crumbled after out classing NE for 56 minutes. Those defenses always crumbled when it mattered though.
     
  25. Adam Strange

    Adam Strange Question Authority Finheaven VIP

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    This post has me wanting to start a post about most overrated Dolphins teams over the years and it begins and ends with the 2002 team.
     
  26. DolfanISS

    DolfanISS Perennial All-Pro Finheaven VIP

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    The 2017 team hands down.
     
  27. EJay

    EJay Scout Team

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    I certainly do. The NFL is often about matchups. And Miami was a bad matchup for Chicago's defense as great as they were. Marino was the perfect antidote for that blitz happy 46 defense and we saw just that in the 1st game. Marino's quick release, ability to recognize pressure and accuracy wasn't something others could duplicate. Also, they exploited matchup issues such as Nat Moore on a linebacker or safety. While Chicago certainly would have made adjustments, their defensive philosophy was still the same and played right into Marino and the Dolphins offense's strengths.
     
  28. Adam Strange

    Adam Strange Question Authority Finheaven VIP

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    Every Dolphins team is overrated before the season by the fandom here. Nothing new about that.
     
  29. Heisenphin

    Heisenphin formally known as CANEPHINS

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    Well, we did beat them 20 straight times in the 70's. And we were 11-3 vs them 1980-1986. Yes, that is a 31-3 record vs the Bills from 1970-1986. That might be the most dominant record ever in the NFL given that many years and games played between 2 teams.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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  30. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    agree. And also, the Bears run-first offense and low-powered pass game wouldn't have been able to take advantage of our sub-par defense the way teams w more potent offenses could. I don't think Walter Payton would have been enough to beat us. Their offense was a bad matchup for them vs our D in that sense.
     
  31. rickd13

    rickd13 Scout Team

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    Sure Miami matched up well against the Bear's defense, but It is one thing to beat that Bear's team without McMahon in the Orange Bowl, but it is another thing beating a healthy Bear's team in a neutral site.
     
  32. datruth55

    datruth55 Starter Finheaven VIP

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    1974 would have been our 4th straight super bowl appearance.

    1985 would have been a rematch of the Bears game in which we destroyed the undefeated Bears in Miami and kept them from going undefeated. The Orange Bowl was literally rocking during that game. Pretty sure you could hear the crowd in Hialeah...lol.

    Bills kicked the Dolphins butt all through the early 90's. I really think we could have beat the Cowboys in 1992. I think 1993 was the Leon Lett game in which we beat them with Chris DeBurg or Scott Mitchell at QB in Dallas.
     
  33. Goin` Deep

    Goin` Deep "Pick your guy and let it fly" Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Who's Chris DeBurg? The singer, lol. Steve DeBerg was our QB in that Thanksgiving game. What a second half of the season collapse that team had, huh? Biggest season choke job ever!
     
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  34. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    I agree. Miami might have been able to beat Chicago in a re-match, but I don't feel overly confident that they would have. Having a healthy McMahon would have been big for them.

    Also, the Bears would have brought all their energy in that game and Miami would have had to match it. At the Orange Bowl, in the regular season game, Chicago couldn't even come close to matching the Dolphins energy.

    Would have loved to see the game as Miami most certainly would have given Chicago more than New England could. That game was a classic mismatch.
     
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  35. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    "Don't pay the ferryman - until he gets you to the other side..,"!!!
     
  36. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    No one was beating Dallas in '92. They are close to unbeatable as you can get. '93 they were beatable and Buffalo had them reeling unitl Thurman Thomas uncharacteristically fumbled for a 6 points the other way and then the wheels came off. Yeah w Marino we beat them in the '93 SB.
     
  37. royalshank

    royalshank Practice Squad All-Pro Finheaven VIP Donator

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    am I the only one who thinks Jim MacMahon sucked donkey ****? He wasn't good and their WRs stunk too. No pass game. Was all D and Walter Payton. Willie Gault? Please.
     
  38. datruth55

    datruth55 Starter Finheaven VIP

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    lol...Steve Deberg. We did tank after starting 9-2 I think. But we used 4 QBs that year...Marino (who tore his Achilles that year), Steve DeBerg, Scott Mitchell and I think Bernie Kosar played for us that year too.
     
  39. BobDole

    BobDole Suck it Trebek

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    He wasn't your typical QB but he was fearless and the city and players loved him. McMahon and Chicago were an ideal match. He would've had a nice career if not for all the injuries from him playing absolutely balls out on every play.
     
  40. Goin` Deep

    Goin` Deep "Pick your guy and let it fly" Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Kosar was with Dallas in `93. Mitchell went down against Philly and Doug Pederson finished that game.. Shula broke the all time wins record that game.
     

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