Best Dolphins team of the last 30 years?

Adam Strange

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The 2000 era teams were pretenders....bad quarterbacking and a defense that caved when it mattered.

The 92’-94’ Dolphins were the last time this team was a legitimate contender, unfortunately 93’ was cut short by Dan’s Achilles.

What’s sad is the last two Conference championships this team made were both in Miami and were marred by excessive fumbles...85’ and 92’.
The 1990 team was a legit contender too. The 1990 Bills— the best Bills team— stood in their way and nobody in the AFC was getting by them that year. But they had the same ceiling as any Dolphins team (and AFC team) of that era— the AFC championship. No way any Miami team of the early 90s was winning in the Super Bowl.
 

Hare Phishna

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1990, 1994, 1995 (biggest disappointment) and 2002 (other biggest disappointment).

To me, the 2002 season may have been the biggest “what if” of my lifetime following the Fins. If Fiedler doesn’t get hurt, we may very well have made it to the AFC Championship (even the SB). Ray Lucas played a good double agent that year.
 

Adam Strange

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1990, 1994, 1995 (biggest disappointment) and 2002 (other biggest disappointment).

To me, the 2002 season may have been the biggest “what if” of my lifetime following the Fins. If Fiedler doesn’t get hurt, we may very well have made it to the AFC Championship (even the SB). Ray Lucas played a good double agent that year.
That 1993 team was just as big a “what if” [Marino doesn’t get injured], and I think they would have had even more of a chance of making the AFC championship than the 2002 team. And I’m not even a guy that thinks that 1993 would have been “the year.”

But the 1993 team was very good and losing Marino on that team was far more crippling than losing Fiedler on a team with Ricky Williams going wild and an allegedly great defense. Let’s face it: that defense was not getting it done in the playoffs and neither was Fiedler. It was all on Ricky. And the biggest reason that team wasn't going anywhere: poor coaching and drafting.
 

Hare Phishna

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That 1993 team was just as big a “what if” [Marino doesn’t get injured], and I think they would have had even more of a chance of making the AFC championship than the 2002 team. And I’m not even a guy that thinks that 1993 would have been “the year.”

But the 1993 team was very good and losing Marino on that team was far more crippling than losing Fiedler on a team with Ricky Williams going wild and an allegedly great defense. Let’s face it: that defense was not getting it done in the playoffs and neither was Fiedler. It was all on Ricky. And the biggest reason that team wasn't going anywhere: poor coaching and drafting.
93 would have been my other one. We were what? 9-2 when Marino went down? I think we'd have had a better chance against one of those Dallas teams than against the 9ers in 94. Would we have won? Probably not, but it would have been a decent game I think.
 

Adam Strange

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93 would have been my other one. We were what? 9-2 when Marino went down? I think we'd have had a better chance against one of those Dallas teams than against the 9ers in 94. Would we have won? Probably not, but it would have been a decent game I think.
No, they were 9-2 after Thanksgiving and then lost all the rest; Marino was injured early in the season. So they showed a lot of fight until the team’s talent slowly bled out due to injury and even Shula couldn’t get that last win they needed to get into the playoffs.
 

Hare Phishna

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No, they were 9-2 after Thanksgiving and then lost all the rest; Marino was injured early in the season. So they showed a lot of fight until the team’s talent slowly bled out due to injury and even Shula couldn’t get that last win they needed to get into the playoffs.
I guess I didnt really get into Fins football until 1994.

I think there were a lot of missed opportunities, especially in the back half of Marino's career.
 

Adam Strange

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I guess I didnt really get into Fins football until 1994.

I think there were a lot of missed opportunities, especially in the back half of Marino's career.
The biggest missed opportunities were all the years in the front half of Marino’s career when he dragged sub .500 teams to 8 wins— never enough for the playoffs, but good enough to torpedo the draft position. 1986-1988 were awful, awful years and a waste of Marino.
 

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The 2002 season for me was magical. I had officially become a Miami Dolphin fan. I went from occasionally watching the team to becoming obsessed. I had a subscription to "Dolphins Digest," and it didn't matter that I didn't receive the issue until about a week later...I still read it cover to cover. I had moved across the country and reading those articles made me feel a connection to home. I especially loved reading Andy Cohen's analysis of our team each week in his section. He would lift us up from some of those tough losses with feelings of hope. I had somehow stumbled upon this website and you guys were also a huge part in my newfound love.

Ricky was leading the league in rushing. He was truly incredible that year...one of the best performances ever at the position.

JT was leading the league in sacks. ZT was leading the league in tackles. They were the heart n' soul of our "new Dolphins" post Marino.

Jay Fielder was a warrior. I resented him the same as anyone during those years but as many bad plays as he'd make...he would follow it up with something that made you scratch yer head and wonder if we really could go the distance with him at the helm. He wasn't the most accurate QB...but he had guts and never gave up.

Chris Chambers / Randy McMichael would make wild circus catches. God I miss McMichaels energy.

Atleast one of our DB's was getting a turnover every week - Surtain / Madison / Marion were special to watch.

Tim Bo was always actin silly ...and our DL was huge.

Rob Konrad was a badass...he was no star but he made plays and made you proud.

The Denver game was the first time I had ever been to a Dolphins game in person and it was an incredible / improbable come-back on national TV (an instant classic) according to Joe Theisman. It was just an amazing season...we were being talked about so much. After so many letdowns in the late 90's (where my memories started) ...this felt like our "rebirth" ...

All of those things that went terribly wrong...and despite all that we still had hope...we just had to take care of business against NE. I have never felt so much pain from a game in Dolphins history.

The destruction of this season FOREVER ingrained in me the importance of the QB position. Had we not lost Fiedler, then we never would have even been in that situation...who knows what could have happened.

-----------------------------------

The runner up would be 2003. That was my first introduction to an NFL offseason...the draft, the BIG NAME free agent signings...and all of the fun of talking it all over with you guys here at Finheaven.

Like the Denver game in 2002...the comeback victory against the Redskins where Jay Fiedler entered the game and did that flex at the fans was a really special memory. The Thanksgiving thrashing of the Cowboys was a special memory. And we felt just as strongly as we did in 2002 that we could go the distance...but fate wasn't on our side.

Wanny ran Ricky into the ground...and we all know what happened after that.
 
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