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'85 Dolphins dodged a bullet by not making Superbowl.

ChitownPhins28

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First of all, this is all through the prism of 'hindsight'. I was mad as hell when we lost to NE and I felt, for years, that we wouldve done much better against the Bears than NE did .
But, watching some games from the 85 season on YouTube, including the Monday night game at home vs NE which we barely won, I saw we were, again, substantially flawed and our victory against the Bears was aided by great fortune.
Final score was a 14-pt spread. Take away the blocked punt and deflection ball caught by Duper and it's a tie game. Those 2 events would not have repeated. That game was a 'Murphy's Law' game for the Bears. I loved it cuz I love the Dolphins and never liked the Bears that much even though Im from Chicago. The 'why' of that is its own, not-very-interesting story.

But, Im just saying: We still love, to this day, gloating about that reg season victory and watching the video and all that. Well, it wouldnt be so enjoyable if we had gotten smoked in the Superbowl. AFC teams were getting smoked almost every 80s SB.

Watch those games from 85 on youtube and tell me again why we do so much better, because the Patriots handled us well 2 out of 3 games. We couldnt stop their run game and their pass rush made it tough on us. They were a better team in 85. The Pats that got smoked in the SB were a better, more balanced team than the Dolphins that year.
 

Fin-Loco

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Andyman

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First of all, this is all through the prism of 'hindsight'. I was mad as hell when we lost to NE and I felt, for years, that we wouldve done much better against the Bears than NE did .
But, watching some games from the 85 season on YouTube, including the Monday night game at home vs NE which we barely won, I saw we were, again, substantially flawed and our victory against the Bears was aided by great fortune.
Final score was a 14-pt spread. Take away the blocked punt and deflection ball caught by Duper and it's a tie game. Those 2 events would not have repeated. That game was a 'Murphy's Law' game for the Bears. I loved it cuz I love the Dolphins and never liked the Bears that much even though Im from Chicago. The 'why' of that is its own, not-very-interesting story.

But, Im just saying: We still love, to this day, gloating about that reg season victory and watching the video and all that. Well, it wouldnt be so enjoyable if we had gotten smoked in the Superbowl. AFC teams were getting smoked almost every 80s SB.

Watch those games from 85 on youtube and tell me again why we do so much better, because the Patriots handled us well 2 out of 3 games. We couldnt stop their run game and their pass rush made it tough on us. They were a better team in 85. The Pats that got smoked in the SB were a better, more balanced team than the Dolphins that year.
They scored 31 points in the first half against a team giving up, what 12 points a game up until that point? They took the foot off the gas in H2. You don't just "take away" plays. They blocked the punt. It was a great play. If you're going to "take away" plays, how about taking away Miami's blown coverage on the deep ball to Gault? Clayton caught the deflected ball not Duper but they already had their 31 first half points. That play was in the second half.
 

Andyman

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That's not right. Chicago was -4 all week. Occasionally it would dip to -3.5 then be pushed back up. On game day some of the wise guy joints dropped to Bears -3.5 and stayed there through kickoff. I never saw -4.5 all week.

Chicago would have been a 7 to 8 point favorite over Miami in the Super Bowl. Most spots were planning to open it -7.5

I thought -- and still think -- the Dolphins would have been brutally exposed, just like a year earlier. There was a vast, vast class and physicality difference between the AFC powers and NFC powers in that era. Regular season results didn't mean much of anything. I can't count how many guys I knew who always tried to make a matchup case for the AFC team and paid for it. The one time it nearly worked was 1988 because Cincinnati had a big strong offensive line and there was some talk they could run the ball and shorten the game against the 49ers. It played out that way for 59.5 minutes. But none of the AFC teams that relied on passing and outscoring the opponent managed anything but a disaster. Both lines would collapse.

Still, I would have liked to have seen it. This isn't the NBA where the best team has 7 games to prove it. No question the Bears were far superior but they would have to avoid all the inconvenient stuff like turnovers, and big plays from the other side. Miami never would have moved the ball like the first game. It would have been big plays or nothing. There seems to be quite a bit of denial here toward how dominant that Bears team was. The entire season means exponentially more than one game. With a team like that there is no such thing as matching up poorly.
That's fair and they would have run Payton more effectively as well. That Dolphin D was obviously flawed but pretty effective still if given a lead.
 

orpheus

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If you make it to the SB, you have a decent shot at winning even if the other team has a better roster, and Miami did beat CHI that year, so who knows? One thing I know for sure is that losing in the AFC Championship game means not winning the SB.
 

macd123

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First of all, this is all through the prism of 'hindsight'. I was mad as hell when we lost to NE and I felt, for years, that we wouldve done much better against the Bears than NE did .
But, watching some games from the 85 season on YouTube, including the Monday night game at home vs NE which we barely won, I saw we were, again, substantially flawed and our victory against the Bears was aided by great fortune.
Final score was a 14-pt spread. Take away the blocked punt and deflection ball caught by Duper and it's a tie game. Those 2 events would not have repeated. That game was a 'Murphy's Law' game for the Bears. I loved it cuz I love the Dolphins and never liked the Bears that much even though Im from Chicago. The 'why' of that is its own, not-very-interesting story.

But, Im just saying: We still love, to this day, gloating about that reg season victory and watching the video and all that. Well, it wouldnt be so enjoyable if we had gotten smoked in the Superbowl. AFC teams were getting smoked almost every 80s SB.

Watch those games from 85 on youtube and tell me again why we do so much better, because the Patriots handled us well 2 out of 3 games. We couldnt stop their run game and their pass rush made it tough on us. They were a better team in 85. The Pats that got smoked in the SB were a better, more balanced team than the Dolphins that year.

I don't agree but I love the chat about that team it provoked. Certainly not the worst thread I've seen.
 

SF Dolphin Fan

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If you make it to the SB, you have a decent shot at winning even if the other team has a better roster, and Miami did beat CHI that year, so who knows? One thing I know for sure is that losing in the AFC Championship game means not winning the SB.
I still keep coming back to the main question. How would Chicago have adjusted? What changes would they have made on defense?

I didn't see much in terms of adjustments all year from Buddy Ryan. He really didn't have to, but then they faced the Dolphins. Don Shula figured them out.

It's easy to look at the talent and say the Bears were the better team. That's true, but Miami was a match-up nightmare for Chicago. The Dolphins were ahead of the curve in terms of a passing offense. Dan Marino's quick decision making and release negated the awesome Chicago pass rush significantly.

Sometimes teams, even if they have lesser talent, just match-up well.
 

Mr Fan

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I know Dolphins beat Bears earlier, but everything that could've gone wrong for Chicago that day went wrong. Backup QB, blocked punt against, ricochet ball right to Duper.
Take away the blocked punt leading to very short field, and the deflection-ball TD, and there goes the margin of victory.
But, the reason I really write the thread post is in watching Miami play the 2 late games they did vs New England. You can find both on youtube. Both really displayed Miami's weaknesses on defense and that the lack of running game was so costly.
The Bears were running at full speed going into that Superbowl. NE had the best D in the AFC, a good running game, and Irving Fryar and Stanley Morgan on the outside and...we saw how that worked out.
Bears would've had much more success running the ball in the dome and that Bears D would've smoked Miami's offense because of that inability to run.
Miami played every card they could've to beat the Bears the first time. There wasn't going to be anything else they could do from a 'scheme' perspective to offset their liabilities vs that murderous Bears D.

Getting back to my thread title... would we have rather had Marino be 0-2 in Super Bowls? Would we have wanted to see our guys get smoked and essentially humiliated?

The flipside of this was just how disappointing that AFC championship game was. The whole team had their heads up their *** that day. Marino wasn't even good and had a bad fumble to go along with Dolphins RBs crapping up the place. The weather sucked but it didn't stop the Patriots from running at will and taking advantage of play-action ease.
The Pats, sadly, deserved that victory but..to what avail?

Hey, because Miami missed the SB that year, we've been able to have 'bragging rights' and enjoy the video of that win to break up the perfect season. It's the perfect memory but it would've lost luster if Bears would've smoked the 'Fins in the SB.
You must have missed the game earlier that season.

The 46 defense doesn't work against 3WR+ Marino, the Bears couldn't cover it, and when they blitzed it became a track meet.
 

EJay

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I'd pick going to the SB every year even if we don't win it. much better than not going at all. I mean is this really a question?

I try preaching this to the lemmings that tout things such as a perfect record in the Super Bowl or NBA Finals, but they never get it.

For example, I have a friend that loves to brag that Joe Montana was 4-0 in the SB and Michael Jordan was 6-0 in the Finals (I’m a huge MJ fan fwiw).

I try to educate him that every season those two weren’t in the championship game they were busy losing in an earlier round — or not even qualifying for the postseason.

Hence I ask, why is losing in the Conference Finals, Semi-Finals, First Round or Regular season never taken into account? (I know the answer, but still ask)

I also try to educate that these are “team sports” and neither of those 2 players have individual championships. I always point to Jim Kelly — who had a teammate let his team down in a game-winning situation — and John Elway — whose team was 0-3 in SB’s during his prime but 2-0 when he was half the player — as prime examples how the team aspect works. But I digress.

Circling back to your point, losing in the SB is not somehow worse than losing in an earlier round. That’s just a ridiculous way to look at it. Of course a player or team wants to advance as far as they possibly can.

Lastly, a 4-4 record in a title game is a much better accomplishment than a 4-0 record simply because the player and/or team advanced to the game 4 more times while the other was defeated in an earlier round.

Because of that factor, and the fact that the entire goal every season is to win a title, I tend to look at players/team careers like this:

Michael Jordan and Joe Montana both played 15 seasons in their respective leagues. MJ‘s teams were 6-9 (.400) and Montana’s were 4-11 (.267) with regard to title runs.

Fwiw, Tom Brady‘s teams are 7-14 (.333).
Bill Russell‘s teams still reign as the greatest champion as they were 11-2 (.846).
 
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Phantom

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At the point when we played the Bears in 85, Marino had thrown 19 td's and 17 int's. We came out after half time and Marino threw a terrible int, and the next possesion i believe, we caught a pass and fumbled. Good thing Fuller turned it right back over on a int to Lankford i think. JB Brown also and a pick 6 in the first half, his first nfl TD. They were not beating us that night. Would have been cool to have the rematch in the Super Bowl. We took out the tight end, and played Nat Moore, Wilber Marshal couldn't cover him. Moore had 2 td's. Even Buddy Ryan said Miami's strengh was Marino, and he was against the Bears weakness, the Db's. Was a great night in Dolphins history.
 

royalshank

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Huh? Anyone who watched the game knows it was over by halftime. The deflection ball to Clayton, not Duper wasn’t needed and I hate seeing that play for that reason. The game was already out of hand. We took it to the Bears because we matched up well. They couldn’t get to Dan before he could find targets open. The game was never close. We kicked their asses. End of story.
 
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