ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS

By: Randy Campbell (OLD DOLFAN)

 

 

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GAME 13: DEC. 10, 1972 – MIAMI at NEW YORK GIANTS

The New York Football Giants were founded in 1925 by original owner Tim Mara with an investment of $500. Mara installed the word “Football” in the team’s legal name to differentiate them from the older, established, baseball Giants.  Both Giants teams played at the Polo Grounds.  The Football Giants went 11-1-1 in 1927, securing their first NFL Championship.  Following the 1929 season, Tim Mara transferred ownership of the team to his two sons to insulate the team from creditors.  At the time, Jack and Wellington Mara were ages 22 and 14, respectively.  Steve Owen became the Giants head coach in 1931.  From 1931 to 1948 the Giants won 8 divisional titles and 2 NFL Championships (1934 and alex-webster-001309577-300x2161938).  Jim Lee Howell replaced Howell in 1954.  In 1956, the Giants, playing their home games in Yankee Stadium for the first time, dominated the Chicago Bears 47-7 in the NFL Championship Game.  For that game, played in icy conditions, the Giants wore sneakers, just as they had back in 1934 when they defeated the Bears in THAT title game.  The 1956 team included future Hall-of-Famers Frank Gifford, Sam Huff and Roosevelt Brown.  The Giants coordinators were Tom Landry (defense) and Vince Lombardi (offense).  In 1958, the Giants lost an overtime classic to the Baltimore Colts in a title game some refer to as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”  The following season, under new coach Allie Sherman, New York lost again to the Colts 31-16.  From 1961 through 1963 the Giants would lose three straight NFL Championship games.  Overall, from 1927 through 1963, the Giants were in an amazing 14 NFL title games, winning 4 and losing 10.

 

The 1970 Giants squad started 0-3 but rebounded to finish 9-5, narrowly missing the playoffs.  In 1971, injured star running back Ron Johnson missed most of the season and the team slumped to 4-10.  The Giants traded quarterback Fran Tarkenton back to Minnesota for QB Norm Snead.  Snead would have his best season as a professional in 1972, leading the NFL in completion percentage.  Running back Ron Johnson, back from injury, set an all-time Giants record by rushing for 1182 yards in 1972.

Head Coach Don Shula understandably was concerned about facing this very strong Giants team on the road.  Just two weeks ago, the Giants had destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles 62-10!!  Shula and defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger agreed that forcing turnovers would be one way to slow down the Giants’ scoring machine.  In practice sessions, the defense practiced stripping the ball away and forcing fumbles with big hits.  And defensive backs were urged to play for the interception.  On offense, Shula got some good news.  All-Pro receiver Paul Warfield’s arch injury was significantly better.  Warfield, who had caught only one touchdown pass all season, was determined to be at his best in this, the next-to-last regular season game of the year.

A huge contingent of New York media members were present to see if the Giants could end Miami’s dream of a Perfect Season.  Even a few hundred Jet fans bought tickets to this game hoping to witness a Dolphins’ defeat.

Sharp passing by Norm Snead keyed the Giants’ first drive.  Ron Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown run gave New York an early 6-0 lead.  Pete Gogolak’s PAT was no good.  Miami responded with a very impressive 80-yard march.  Mercury Morris ended the drive when he scampered around the corner, stayed in bounds, and scored from 12 yards out.  Yepremian’s extra point gave Miami a 7-6 lead.  Later in the opening stanza, a crunching hit by Mike Kolen led to a fumble recovery by Doug Swift.  Garo Yepremian’s 37-yard field goal put the Dolphins ahead 10-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Another Giants turnover gave Miami the ball in the second quarter.  On 3rd and 9 from the New York 34, everyone knew a pass was coming.  Warfield, the likely target, drew double coverage.  After blowing by Willie Williams, Warfield put an all-world move on Spider Lockhart and blew by him just as Earl Morrall released a perfect deep pass.  Warfield caught the ball in stride and scored a most impressive touchdown!  Miami now had a solid 17-6 lead.  The Giants desperately wanted to score before halftime.  Another impressive drive led by Norm Snead  got the ball deep in the Dolphins’ end of the field.  Ron Johnson’s second one-yard touchdown run pulled New York to within 17-13 at halftime.

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Continued steady rains turned an already messy field into a second half quagmire.  Temperatures were in the 40’s and it was windy.  The hard-hitting Dolphins’ defense, combined with very sloppy conditions, produced SIX GIANTS’ TURNOVERS!  At the end of the third quarter, the score remained 17-13, Miami.  Giants’ (and Jets’) fans knew that one big play could turn this game completely around.   Emphasizing the run, Morrall drove Miami down the field in the final quarter.  Some nice runs by Morris put Yepremian in position for a 31-yard field goal attempt in the slop.  Garo’s kick was GOOD!!  Miami had a 20-13 lead.  New York’s sixth and final turnover set up Miami inside Giant’s territory.  Yepremian’s chip-shot field goal CLINCHED a 23-13 victory for the wet, tired, but very happy Miami Dolphins!  On the day, Miami rushed for 204 yards on 41 carries (a 5.0 average) and passed for 171 yards (132 of them to Warfield).  The six turnovers produced by the “No Name Defense” were the key factor in holding the high-scoring Giants’ to just 13 points.

In seven days, the Miami Dolphins would have a date with destiny in the historic Orange Bowl.  The entire nation would be watching their final regular season game against the Colts.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins were now 13-0.

 

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415 Responses to ABSOLUTE PERFECTION: THE 1972 MIAMI DOLPHINS

  1. finfanrob says:

    manitobafinfan says:
    May 6, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I also hate cats. Sorry but I am having a hard time not laffing 😎

    yep, they gross me the fuck out. the same as or maybe worse then snakes. a cat commercial comes on tv i cant change the tv fast enough. those fuckers gross me out.

    but i will say, they do make some damn good chinese food.

  2. finfanrob says:

    wow, the red sucks getting 5 pitch outs.

  3. finfanrob says:

    just amazing the bull shit calls a home plate umpire makes. i bet they hate the strike zone chart. it just shows how fake the baseball strike zone is.

  4. wyoming85 says:

    OHHHHHHHHH Don’t let anything positive come out of your mouth!

    Andrew Abramson ‏@AbramsonPBP · 6m6 minutes ago
    Pretty sure Dolphins fan base will be crushed if after all this La’el Collins signs with another team

  5. Rockphin says:

    Rob, I need SOME kind of companionship and I am away from home too much for a dog. Shit Fish would die in the amount of time I’m gone some times. You can put out 5lbs of catfood and not come home for 8 days and the cat will be fine. (as long as you leave the toilet seat up for him to drink) Besides dogs are a pain in the ass. let them out or have to walk them if you don’t have a fenced yard twice per day, they drag their asses on your floors and chew all your stuff, sniff your ladies crotches (don’t really blame them for that, they get away with it) etc, etc. I am not a fan of dogs and cats you can pretty much neglect until they lay open the side of your neck in protest that is…

  6. Mike E. says:

    Has anyone here read all the GOT books (through book 5) and also watched the show? I’m getting very pissed on how much they are changing the show from the book. Does anyone else feel that way?

    • wyoming85 says:

      Yes and they are fucking it up!

      But then again I can wait them out on it! 🙂
      It’s only entertainment!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mike E. says:

        Yeah, I don’t want to give anything away, but they are definitely fucking it up

  7. wyoming85 says:

    Andrew Abramson ‏@AbramsonPBP · 9m9 minutes ago
    Pretty sure Dolphins fan base will be crushed if after all this La’el Collins signs with another team

    Lee Harvey ‏@Wyoming85Lee · 8s9 seconds ago
    @AbramsonPBP
    Crushed?
    What do we have to do? Deflate your balls?

  8. Rockphin says:

    Has anyone here read all the GOT books (through book 5) and also watched the show? I’m getting very pissed on how much they are changing the show from the book. Does anyone else feel that way?

    Mike, I have only read the first 3 books but I noticed they have taken several departures from the written text.

  9. finfanrob says:

    rock,

    companionship? are you serious. you of all people i thought would have a houseful of those pet rocks. fuck? what more do you need.

    • Rockphin says:

      I had a hot young wife until about 5 months ago who liked cats…..Now I just have a fucking cat who thinks he is a dog.

  10. Rockphin says:

    NOGTIH ALL

  11. Mike E. says:

    I’m out as well. Hoping I can get a good nights sleep! Goodnight all!

  12. wyoming85 says:

    Mike E
    I’m letting it ride to see where it goes?
    Hell. May turn out better?

    • Mike E. says:

      Maybe, it’s possible. They stayed so true to the books until the Red Wedding. Then they really have gone awry since then. Goodnight Wyo!

  13. finfanrob says:

    Mike E. says:
    May 6, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Nogtih Rock

    oh shut up, you are not impressing any one the you and rock can talk GOT

  14. Mike E. says:

    I won’t be crushed if we don’t get La’el, but I will surely be disappointed.

  15. manitobafinfan says:

    Night rock& mike

  16. wyoming85 says:

    Later Haters

  17. wyoming85 says:

    LMAO

  18. finfanrob says:

    wait every one is leaving and leaving me alone with the Canadian. all i am going to hear is a bunch of ‘i’m sorry’ and excuses why they dont tip

  19. Tim Knight says:

    Mike E, a screenplay is always different than the book. Two different mediums. It’s not always easy to make a book a movie or a show/series.

    • manitobafinfan says:

      Jaws was a good example of book being better than movie as was needful things

      • Tim Knight says:

        I actually read that book and found it boring. It made me hate fiction. I like real time life stuff and new technology allows that as opposed to the 70’s and 80’s.

  20. finfanrob says:

    Tim Knight says:
    May 6, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Mike E, a screenplay is always different than the book.

    that is very true. the only exception i know is the book ‘band of brothers’ there wasnt anything in that book that wasnt in the mini series.

  21. manitobafinfan says:

    I used to read a lot. Can’t do it now, lack of concentration, found myself re reading entire pages

  22. finfanrob says:

    Rockphin says:
    May 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    and I don’t want to pay for companionship like you do…..

    dude, that is a fucking insult. i dont pay for companionship, i just pay for my companions to leave when i am done.

  23. manitobafinfan says:

    Which did you find boring?

    • Tim Knight says:

      The story with his wife and it went on and on. I was young looking for shark stories and it was a lifetime type story. Don’t care. I deal with real life enough. LOL

  24. manitobafinfan says:

    Well I’m out too. Fuck the Pats. Go Fins

  25. steveccnv says:

    Tom Brady Sr. STFU you’re making an ass out of yourself.

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