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'85 Dolphins dodged a bullet by not making Superbowl.

royalshank

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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.
JB Brown wasn’t in the NFL yet. We had Bud Brown (S) and Mark Brown (LB) but our defense didn’t score. The offense had 5 TDs w Marino throwing 3 and Davenport rushing for 2. We intercepted Fuller / McMahon 3 times. It was an ***-whooping and over at the half after the blocked punt. There was no scoring in the 4th quarter as we pinned our ears back and beat up McMahon while Marino didn’t even attempt a pass.
 

runstuffr

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I don't know. I, like you probably, watched all the games that year, year prior. I've been watching Fins every weekend that I can since 1980. We crushed the Bears that night because they couldn't guard our running backs and slot receivers. The Bears didn't adjust. Marino's quick release eliminated the impact of the Bear's blitz.

I was crushed that year, because unlike you, I think we would have destroyed the Bears in the Super Bowl. We had Don Shula, and he knew the Bears would be vulnerable to the slot and running backs in pass game. They could have modified their game plan, but it probably wouldn't have mattered because their defense and personnel were not built to defeat the type of passing game we could implement.
 

royalshank

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I don't know. I, like you probably, watched all the games that year, year prior. I've been watching Fins every weekend that I can since 1980. We crushed the Bears that night because they couldn't guard our running backs and slot receivers. The Bears didn't adjust. Marino's quick release eliminated the impact of the Bear's blitz.

I was crushed that year, because unlike you, I think we would have destroyed the Bears in the Super Bowl. We had Don Shula, and he knew the Bears would be vulnerable to the slot and running backs in pass game. They could have modified their game plan, but it probably wouldn't have mattered because their defense and personnel were not built to defeat the type of passing game we could implement.
Agreed. I don’t think Walter Payton would have beaten us. Do you remember the show “Monday Night Match Up” that was on an hour before kickoff? Allie Sherman was the color commentator host / analyst and he predicted what would happen in the game to a “T”. He said Miami would win and they would throw quick hitters to the flats and expose the slower Bears CBs. Point is, another great coach saw how Miami matched up and called it. I don’t think they could have beaten us in the SB. They weren’t built to score a lot of points and we could move the ball on their D.
 

runstuffr

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Agreed. I don’t think Walter Payton would have beaten us. Do you remember the show “Monday Night Match Up” that was on an hour before kickoff? Allie Sherman was the color commentator host / analyst and he predicted what would happen in the game to a “T”. He said Miami would win and they would throw quick hitters to the flats and expose the slower Bears CBs. Point is, another great coach saw how Miami matched up and called it. I don’t think they could have beaten us in the SB. They weren’t built to score a lot of points and we could move the ball on their D.
I totally do. I bet my best friend 5 dollars and he was so pissed. I felt like that was a model that the Patriots copied with Welker and their backs. They saw what Shula did to that Bears D. Man, if we just could have gotten into the big game. The Patriots were a horrible matchup. Too normal of an offense. And I agree too, Walter wouldn't have beaten us. He was past his prime. That said, Walter was and is my favorite back of all time. Sweetness. Fun to take a trip down memory lane. And that game was huge, I think it really changed the NFL.
 

GreenDolphinSt

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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).
The SB has become a national, even international holiday/cultural event that goes far beyond its actual sporting aspect. For a large portion of the population the Super Bowl IS the football season. Not people on this board (obviously), not true football fans, or even casual fans, but millions of non sports or non football fans only know who wins or loses the Super Bowl. For me and other actual football fans, getting to the SB and losing still beats not getting there, but for the millions of SB only's, the SB loser, especially if it's a blowout or you blow a 25 pt lead, is the ultimate loser. On zoom, after a conference, some guys were talking about really bad multi-year periods for NFL teams (after the Browns made the playoffs)- 2010's Browns, 70's Bucs, 0-16 Lions, etc. One guy actually says "hey, didn't Buffalo lose 4 or 5 Super Bowl's in the 90's?" I politely pointed out that's a great team, not a bad one.

I'd rather win, but I'd take a few SB loses in a row compared to our last 20 years.
 

SF Dolphin Fan

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We’d have killed their D again, plus this game would have been on turf in the Superdome.
Great point. That would have been in Miami's favor.

Certainly the Bears could have won the rematch, but I don't think it would have been due to the Dolphins offense.

I'm not convinced that Buddy Ryan would have pivoted. The reason I believe that is watching Philadelphia's defense under Ryan.

It was exactly the same, all or nothing approach. By then, the passing teams were making huge plays off that design.

But in 1985 the league was still about running the football. I still think Miami was the perfect match-up nightmare for Chicago.
 

spiral

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I get what the OP is saying. Marino would be looked upon in a worse light after 2 losses (albeit to two of the NFL's all-time greatest teams, btw) However, I know how awful I felt after the Pats loss. Even though I was only 12 years old at the time I could already feel the mojo slipping from the franchise after that game.
I've always maintained that the Dolphins would've won due to the fact they were more experienced in Super Bowl hysteria and like others have noted, matched up well with that Bears team.
Plus, I feel like we could've had way more of a home-field advantage than we had against San Fran a couple of years prior.
Having lived in the Chicagoland area for the past 20 years, I have often brought this unsolicited opinion up many of times with Bears fans and they really can't refute it. They LOST that MNF game soundly and were very thankful to matchup against the Patriots instead.
 

Dolphins3

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Duper and Clayton were good (not great, but good receivers made great by Marino). You also add Nat Moore to that group. The 85 Bears could not match up against Marino because of his ability to nullify the Bears' blitz. Chicago had no success in that game until Buddy Ryan moved out of the 46 and went into a nickel defense (Ditka screamed at him to move into the nickel earlier but Buddy wouldn't budge). Buddy ver likely would not have opened Super Bowl 20 with the nickel either. His attitude/ego wouldn't let him. Also, SB 20 was played indoors on turf, obviously. Putting that Dolphins offense on turf would have made them even more dangerous. I'm not saying Miami would have won Super Bowl 20. But they wouldn't have been blown out either.
 

EJay

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This is a strange thread topic. Arbitrarily created for some unknown odd reason.

But I’ll play along.

IDK for certain whether MIA would have won a rematch. But I would have liked their chances.

A favorable matchup is a favorable matchup. Think Giants v. Patriots in 2007/08.

People get wrapped up in flawed logic like, “well, NE beat MIA 2 out of 3 that season and was no match for CHI so the Dolphins likely would have lost too”.

If you’ve watched football long enough, you’ll often notice that the game often boils down to strengths and weaknesses of certain teams. At all levels.

In this instance, MIA‘s strengths offensively were something that really no other team could replicate against CHI that season. And they played right into the weakness of the Bears defense.

Marino was the wrong QB to try to overwhelm with pressure. He was great at reading where pressure was coming from pre-snap and where his advantages would be. He made quick decisions and had arguably the fastest release with top notch touch and accuracy. And he had a good enough o-line to buy him just enough additional time.

Everyone knows the matchup they exploited with Nat Moore on a LB. And the designed roll outs. However if CHI changed up, Marino would have found another favorable matchup. Probably Clayton and Duper in 1 on 1 matchups against the blitz.

Buddy Ryan wasn’t going to change his spots. He wasn’t gonna suddenly sit patiently in zone and rush 3 guys. He was going to bring pressure. Period.

Teams like NE (and everyone else sans MIA) weren’t equipped for it. Marino and the Dolphins were.

IMO the hypothetical rematch really would have boiled down to how well the Dolphins defense fared against the Bears offense again. If they were able to keep Payton and the rush game from dominating, they would have had a great chance to beat the Bears again.

To echo my point with an example from this past season, look no further than KC v. TB. The Bucs weren’t really all that good. They lost 5 games. They got smoked by New Orleans twice and got fortunate in the postseason when Taysom Hill was out.

But they played KC twice and proved to be a tough matchup for them.

MIA’s 85 team was the same type of foe for CHI. Just as the NYG were for NE in 2007. Adjustments wouldn’t have changed much, if anything,
 

Phantom

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JB Brown wasn’t in the NFL yet. We had Bud Brown (S) and Mark Brown (LB) but our defense didn’t score. The offense had 5 TDs w Marino throwing 3 and Davenport rushing for 2. We intercepted Fuller / McMahon 3 times. It was an ***-whooping and over at the half after the blocked punt. There was no scoring in the 4th quarter as we pinned our ears back and beat up McMahon while Marino didn’t even attempt a pass.
Yes, Bud Brown, and it was Blackwood with another int, not lankford. Memory failing me, lol.
 

Pompy

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Marino chocked. All that needs to be said. He's the opposite of Brady.
 

EJay

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Marino chocked. All that needs to be said. He's the opposite of Brady.

No, you’ve choked. Not only in take, but also in spelling the word. Nicely done.

You’re right about one thing. Brady and Marino are opposites in that Brady’s has never taken an obviously flawed team and carried them further than they should have gone.

Elway did it. Marino did it.

Brady, like Montana, was fortunate to play with a lot of HOF talent both on defense and special teams and for head coaches ahead of their time. And also benefitted from a lot more help from his teammates than many other great QB’s got.

Sad that folks can’t see things for what they truly are. Brady is certainly an all time great. So was Montana. But they never carried inferior teams just due to their own greatness. Sorry.

It’s a lot easier to rack up championships playing for teams that have defenses yielding less that 20 points in conference championship games and SB’s. And whose kickers actually make clutch kick after clutch kick.

Pop quiz: how many titles did the 49ers and Patriots win when their defense surrendered 30+ points in postseason games? Or their kicker missed wide right at the end of the game??

Far too many so called fans really don’t understand this game.
 
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