ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS

By:  RANDY CAMPBELL (Old Dolfan)

GAME 7: OCTOBER 29, 1972 – MIAMI at BALTIMORE

Two football teams have been called the Baltimore Colts.  The Original Colts started in the All-American Football Conference as the Miami Seahawks in 1946.  A group of Baltimore businessmen bought the Seahawks and moved them to Baltimore for the 1947 season, naming them the Colts.  In 1950 the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers and the Colts joined the NFL from the crumbling AAFC.  After a 1-11 year the Colts folded.  In 1953 the NFL formed another “Baltimore Colts” team out of the remnants of the failed NFL Dallas Texans (NOT to be confused with Lamar Hunt’s AFL team of the same name formed in 1960).  It was this team, the former NFL Texans, that became the team most fans know as the Baltimore Colts.  In 1984 this franchise moved to Indianapolis and is now known as the Indianapolis Colts.

The 1958 Baltimore Colts, with legendary QB John Unitas, running backs Lenny Moore and Alan Ameche and wide receiver Raymond Berry, won a 23-17 overtime classic over the New York Giants to claim their first NFL title.  The same teams met in the 1959 Championship Game.  Again, Baltimore won, this time by a 31-16 margin.

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In 1968 the powerful Colts, coached by a very young Don Shula, went 13-1 in the regular season before winning two playoff games and advancing to Super Bowl III.  The 15-1 Colts, three touchdown favorites, were stunned by the New York Jets in what Shula called “his darkest moment.”  In 1970, the Colts, now coached by Don McCafferty, compiled an 11-2-1 record.  They defeated Cincinnati and Oakland to advance to Super Bowl V in the historic Orange Bowl.  The Colts stunning loss in Super Bowl III was still fresh in the minds of their players.

This time lady luck smiled on Baltimore.  Starting quarterback John Unitas was knocked out of the game in the first half.  But back-up QB Earl Morrall came in and took the Colts to two fourth quarter scores and a 16-13 triumph over the Dallas Cowboys.  The Colts won despite committing a record SEVEN Super Bowl turnovers.  Finally, Unitas, Morrall and the Colts were Super Bowl Champions!  The 1972 Colts were a shadow of the team that won Super Bowl V.  Baltimore started the season 1-3.  Then, while Miami was defeating San Diego in week #5, the Colts were losing 21-0 to the same Dallas Cowboys team they had defeated in Super Bowl V.  The winning coach in that Super Bowl, Don McCafferty, was fired.

Dolphins head coach Don Shula was taking nothing for granted.  His Dolphins barely defeated a 2-4 Buffalo team by one point the week before.  And he knew from his years in Baltimore that the Colts were a dangerous team when playing at home in Memorial Stadium.  Most of all, he knew that John Unitas would have his team ready to play against their old coach (Shula) and their old quarterback, Earl Morrall.  The game EarlMorrall2_20110717687-260x300started perfectly for the undefeated Dolphins.  Earl Morrall calmly marched Miami 80 yards down the field.  Larry Csonka burst through a small hole and scored from a yard away.  Miami had a 7-0 lead.  In the second quarter, Miami’s Curtis Johnson broke through the line and blocked a David Lee punt.  Larry Ball recovered inside the Colts’ 30.  Two plays later, Morrall tossed a lateral pass to wide receiver Marlin Briscoe.  Briscoe, who was a starting quarterback when he played for the Denver Broncos, stood up and threw a perfect forward pass to Paul Warfield who was tackled at the one!  Again, Larry Csonka ran the final yard foe a touchdown.  Yepremian’s extra point was blocked, leaving Miami with a 13-0 lead.   Late in the second quarter, Baltimore’s Boris Shlapak tried a 54-yard field goal.  Miami’s Lloyd Mumphord blocked it, giving the Dolphins one more chance before halftime.  Yepremian made the most of it, converting a 24-yard field goal on the last play of the first half.  16-0, Miami, at halftime.  The Dolphins had started the first half with an 80-yard drive for a touchdown.  They repeated that feat with another 80-yard touchdown drive to start the second half.  1401Mercury Morris got the final seven yards and Miami was in total control, leading 23-0. The “No Name Defense” took command of the rest of the game, preserving the shutout and dominating Baltimore’s offense.  The game ended 23-0.  In the Colts’ post game locker room, head coach John Sandusky said “We warned our players all week about Miami’s special teams.  Then we give up a blocked punt and a blocked field goal. Our special teams put us in a big hole.”  In Miami’s locker, linebacker Mike Kolen, known as “Captain Crunch” for his devastating hits on other players, said “holding your opponent scoreless is something every defense tries to do.  When you see a big zero on the scoreboard you know you did your job.”

Next up: another game with the dangerous Buffalo Bills, losers to Miami 24-23 last sunday.  This time, the game would be played in Buffalo.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins were now 7-0.

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447 Responses to ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS

  1. Brian in NY says:

    LMAO Tim!

  2. Randy says:

    MikeE,
    Me personally, I’d like some veteran savvy and experience in the WR room. We have none now, and I’d feel good about a guy like Jennings teaching these guys how to practice, study, etc. even if a guy like Landry appears smart and motivated to be good, he is still a young, inexperienced player…as are the rest of our WRs. I think a veteran presence is needed.

    • Tim Knight says:

      I hear that but also think it’s a little overrated. Landry as you said is self-motivated. He fires the team up, gets open and catches everything. Stills is in his 3rd year and Matthews is in his 4th. It’s not like they have no experience. I’m more interested in Crabtree or some other vet WR for production than their experience in the WR room.

    • stangerx says:

      Right with you on the vet mentor Randy, even if he turns out being a 3rd/4th guy. Have Reggie Wayne on my mind these days.

  3. Brian in NY says:

    Congrats Gigi! I hope this one’s a Dolphins fan!

  4. finfanrob says:

    Mike E. says:
    March 18, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    FFR – That midget is at least 2-3″ taller than me. lol

    yeah but you got hand he doesnt.

  5. Randy says:

    Tim,
    I don’t think it’s a “must do” sorta thing. If they don’t sign anybody, I won’t cry.

  6. finfanrob says:

    wow that didnt take long. gigi gets engaged and right away stanger is after her man.

  7. getterdone says:

    Free agent TE Jermaine Gresham (back) will undergo surgery Thursday.
    Gresham is dealing with a herniated disc in his back. The surgery is an obvious concern for his free agent stock, but there’s a chance he’ll be ready for training camp. Gresham will likely have to settle for a one-year deal when healthy.
    __________________________
    Perhaps something to stash away and take a looksie after the draft and/or how well our current stock of TE’s look in OTA’s.

  8. finfanrob says:

    randy

    we all know the only time you cry is when tanny drops back finishes making a sandwich, calls lauren and then checks his email then gets sacked and everyone blames it on the all pro line cause tanny takes to long

  9. Randy says:

    ffr,
    I also cry when your sister leaves her teeth in.

  10. stangerx says:

    “”If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country,” calling it potentially transformative.”

    That’s Barack on the idea of forcing every one to vote. Not a shocker he’d be in favor of that.

    Personally, I’d like to make it as difficult as possible……that way only those who really care would do it.

  11. finfanrob says:

    Randy says:
    March 18, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    ffr,
    I also cry when your sister leaves her teeth in.

    how else is she suppose to whiten them.

  12. The Flying Pig says:

    Congrats Gigi!!!

  13. stangerx says:

    Hernandez was calling Pouncey from jail. The convo ain’t much but he was (and no that ain’t Mike Wallace the are talking about…..it’s Ernest, who is also accused of being part of the murder.
    ——————————-
    Hernandez is recorded speaking with Pouncey. Both say they miss Wallace, and Hernandez tells Pouncey that Wallace is in jail with one of the nation’s most famous fugitives at the time, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

    Hernandez: You know who he’s locked up with?

    Pouncey: Um, who?

    Hernandez: He’s locked up with that — with that Mafia dude.

    Pouncey: No.

    Hernandez: The Mafia dude up here who just got caught like after like —

    Pouncey: Oh, yeah, yeah.

    Hernandez: (Inaudible).

    Pouncey: Yeah.

    Hernandez: He’s in the cell right next to him.

    Pouncey: Oh, OK. He cool, though? Everything cool with him?

    Hernandez: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s good. He in the hole, too

  14. finfanrob says:

    there goes stanger again. jesus christ dude it is above the 0 key. hold down the shift button and hit the 0 key. you do know the ) are free. watch )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))), there keep those for later.

  15. Try Pod says:

    This will make a lot of the people in the republican party slightly happier, though as we all know, probably not everyone:
    http://news.yahoo.com/glenn-beck-done-with-the-republican-party-162656735.html

    • The Flying Pig says:

      He’s not much of a political mind no matter how hard he tries

      • Try Pod says:

        You can’t tell some people this. The dude was a dj in Louisville for a while. He’s really not a “mind”. But whatever…

      • D says:

        Try irlts like when Oprah went from acting to doing he show. She instantly became an expert on everything and instantly had a doctorate in psychiatry. Akwas has made mecsicj how some can’t be convinced that they are the modern day version of a snake oil salesman.

  16. D says:

    Beck is more right wing conspiracy theorist than a political pundit. He reports on what the left “is up to” more than just reporting politics from the right side viewpoint. Talk radio I listen to on way to work that mostly reopts on local events and maybe some “in the news” segments switches over to Beck at 8am. When I’m running a little late for work I get to hear some if Hus show. I do sometimes hear something interesting but seems mostly conspiracy shit that I can’t get behind. I can see how he gets some people riled up though.

  17. Tim Knight says:

    Obama is part of the socialist movement where government has more control. Choose who you are America. Sorry the candidates suck but we the people have to pick a direction. Go back to our roots of liberty and stop asking government for solutions. People problem solve everyday. Sadly I don’t think that will happen. I will go with the flow and hope for the best for the next generations.

    • Try Pod says:

      No one of quality will run anymore- not worth the cost to family, friends. We are stuck with what we get until something changes.

    • Try Pod says:

      Besides, this generation spends all its money on tattoos. As long as they can get their ink, they’re good.

      • Tim Knight says:

        It’s a generational thing, don’t harp on that. Our generation was different than our parents too. It’s nature.

  18. D says:

    Crabtree would be a good sign but I’m not concerned with the idea we need a vet presence as much as I care if we get a guy who can get shit done. If crabtree makes them feel more secure than say Hazel being competitive next year then get him but I don’t think it should alter their plans to select a guy in the first for the long-term gain. They nay also not be in love with Matthews. I think he could be good with more opportunities but maybe team feels different. Landry and Stills are only locks at this point so we need to figure out two more who are at least rotational and one to two more who might be on the 53. If Clay doesn’t red gn we might carry an extra receiver over an extra TE.

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