FOLLOWING PERFECTION: THE 1973 MIAMI DOLPHINS – GAME 4

dolphins 73

By: Randy Campbell (Old Dolfan)

 New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins,  Oct. 7, 1973

The New York Jets-Miami Dolphins rivalry had a nasty edge to it right from the get-go.  This was especially true for those games played in the historic Orange Bowl.  Jet fans typically outnumbered Dolphin fans in the pre-Shula days, mostly because of all the ex-New Yorkers who migrated to Florida in the 1950’s, ’60’s and, later, in the 1970’s.

The very first game in this bitter rivalry took place in early September of 1966.  It was Miami’s second official game of their existence.  New York scored early and often, taking a 19-0 lead into the final quarter.  By this time, Jet fans insults had led to dozens of fights and many arrests.

Miami returned a Namath interception for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.  Then QB Rick Norton hit TE Dave Kocourek with a 47-yard touchdown bomb and the Dolphins trailed only 19-14 to the delight of beleagured Miami fans.  Eventually, the Jets stopped Miami’s final drive, preserving an unimpressive win over an AFL expansion team.  More fights followed during the Jet fans post-game celebration.  Miami mayor Robert King High called Jets fans behavior “inexcusable.”  The rivalry “was on!”

mercury_morris_1972_01_19 The misery continued as Namath and the Jets swept the first eight games in this rivalry, most by lopsided scores.  But, in 1970, new head coach Don Shula promised things would be different.  Indeed, they were. Under Shula, the Dolphins won five of the next six contests, including two classic narrow victories during the 1972 season.  The second win against New York in 1972 was, and IS, considered one of the greatest games ever played in the historic Orange Bowl!  The Dolphins would go on from this come from behind 28-24 victory to complete the NFL’s one and only Perfect Season!

As the 1973 season dawned, Jet fans obsessed on one thing. –REVENGE against the Dolphins!  But that would have to wait.  The Jets lost their opening game at Green   Bay.  Then, the first half of their next game against Baltimore, Namath suffered a serious knee injury.  It would cause him to miss about half of the 1972 season.

Trailing 10-3 at halftime, back-up Jets QB Al Woodall took control of the New York offense.  Two Woodall touchdown passes plus a FG by Bobby Howfield gave the Jets a 20-10 lead.  The Jets’ defense did the rest, returning two Bert Jones interceptions for “pick-six” touchdowns.  The Jets had crushed Baltimore 34-10 without Joe Namath for most of the game.  Would Al Woodall become the next Earl Morrall?  Woodall, a 2nd round pick in the ’69 draft out of Duke, had seen limited action in his first four seasons behind Namath.

Next for New York was a trip to Buffalo to play O.J. Simpson and his powerful Bills’ team.  Could Woodall maintain the hot hand and produce another upset?  Three John Leypoldt field goals gave Buffalo a 9-0 lead early in the 4th quarter.  But Woodall connected on a 34-yard bomb to speedy Jerome Barkum, narrowing Buffalo’s lead to just two points.  New York was unable to score again, thus Buffalo escaped with a 9-7 win that was in doubt until the games’ final play.

Even without Namath, Don Shula knew these Jets were a dangerous team.  New York’s top two runners, Emerson Boozer and big John Riggins, were among the best duos in the NFL.  Wide receiver Eddie Bell was having a solid season.  And tight ends Richard Caster and Jerome Barkum had the speed to go deep.  Defensively, the Jets had allowed just 36 points total during their first three games.

Shula believed the key to beating the Jets rested on two factors.  First, the Dolphins offense had to get off to a fast start.  His plan was to open up the passing offenseto offset the Jets strong run defense.  Secondly, he believed a strong pass rush against Woodall would pay huge dividends.  Woodall lacked Namath’s quick release.  And he wasn’t a threat to run the ball.  So Miami’s defensive ends were told to pin their ears back.  Shula’s plan worked to perfection.

Last week Mercury Morris ran for a Dolphins’ record 197 yards.  On the first play of Mercury movin inthis game, Morris bolted for 25 yards in the blink of an eye!  Griese followed with a 17-yard completion to Jim Kiick and the Dolphins were already in Jets’ territory.  Runs by Morris, Kiick and Csonka moved the ball to the three yard line.  Morris scooted the final three yards putting the Dolphins ahead 7-0.

Defensive captain Nick Buoniconti recovered a Jets’ fumble on their next series.  BriscoeMorris sprinted around end for 9 yards.  Griese hit Marlin Briscoe for 15 yards.  Two plays later Bob Griese threw a low pass to Briscoe who laid out to make a sensational diving catch for another touchdown!  14-0, Dolphins, after the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ pass rush was totally intimidating Al Woodall.  Defensive end Bill Sttanfill constantly hounded the Jets quarterback.  By games’ end, Stanfill had recorded FIVE sacks and close to a dozen tackles.  He was, in a word, unstoppable!

Griese, Briscoe and Paul Warfield continued to shred the Jets’ secondary in the second quarter.  A long drive produced a 19-yard FG by Yepremian.  Then, just before halftime, Griese tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Warfield, making the score a shocking 24-0 at intermission!  The usually noisy and profane Jets fans were stone quiet.

Shula saw no reason to let-up on the passing game in the third quarter.  A warfield, morris, shulalong 40-yard bomb, Griese to Warfield, turned this game into an absolute (and unexpected) blowout.  The Dolphins led 31-0 heading into the final quarter.

By this time everyone agreed that Al Woodall was NOT the next Earl Morrall.  Woodall was unceremoniously yanked after completing just 4 of 15 passes for 45 yards and two interceptions.  Woodall’s back-up, Bill Demory, completed 2 of 5 passes and led the Jets to a field goal in the final moments of this lopsided 31-3 Dolphins’ victory.

And what of the REAL Earl Morrall?  He entered the game in the fourth quarter and completed 2 of 4 passes for 46 yards, 1 yard more than Woodall achieved in over three quarters.

On the day, Miami passed for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns, a season’s high at that point.  They also ran for 151 yards and another TD against a Jets’ defense that previously had yielded only 12 points per game.

Shula praised his offense, his defense and his special teams’ play.  “It was our best effort of the year so far,” said the smiling Don of Miami.

In the Jets’ locker room a somber Weeb Ewbank said “We were totally outclassed today.  This Dolphin team may be even better than the ’72 team.”

The 1973 Miami Dolphins were now 3-1.  And they had just crushed the hated New York Jets, a thought that was foremost in my mind as I drove back home to West Palm Beach to continue my celebration!

 

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377 Responses to FOLLOWING PERFECTION: THE 1973 MIAMI DOLPHINS – GAME 4

  1. Tim Knight says:

    D, I saw that too but it was kind of a shot as well. It was dry and no lol. 😉

    • D says:

      K, look at my last reply on that page, thats my stance on gay marriage/sex.

      • D says:

        Oh and to add one more thing, im actually happy for my gay friends that they are able to live out thier lives as they want, some of the couples are choosing to get married now, some are ok with their life as is and choosing to leave it like it is. They all know my position on the subject as im not less direct with them as i am on here, and they are fine with my feelings towards it because i dont approach them or their life with hate. It is possible for people who completely see thing oppositly to get along, whether it to be about the Flag, about white and Black, gay marriage, or any very divided subject. Listening to one anothe rhelps you work it out and its not until one side or the other just become unwilling to even listen that we start to lose ground. Like you said about the flag, which i agreed with, Museum, not capitol building, but i also think the idea of then moving towards removing all confederate statues and such taking a mile when all ya needed was an inch. The rest of the shit will come when we start talking again, and stop refusing to hear the other person feelings on matters.

  2. New Age says:

    Al,

    I disagree about the Kurds. The only reliable and even keeled group in that entire region seems to be the Kurds. The extreme prejudice, hatred and almost genocidal acts against them over the past decades is awful. I see no chance in the very weak Iraqi government ever being able to govern properly much like the corrupt Afghani government.

    Let the Kurds have their own nation. It’s what happened for us, it’s what we forced on the ME with Israel and it’s the right decision. These people deserve their own home. Without them, there would be no Iraq right now. We would have no true allies outside of the other ‘airforces’ in our coalition.

    • getterdone says:

      +1
      But the problem is, ISIS is another pawn created by US, Israel, & Saudi Arabia to keep the rest of the ME in chaos & turmoil to the benefit of those powerful allies.
      So, the Kurds lose out once again.

      • New Age says:

        I dont think they were created by us(possibly by the Saudis in their bid to undermine enemy nations) but we havent done enough to stp them. 10-15 bombing runs a day? Seriously? Tons of weapons to the Iraqi army to just be turned over to the Daesh? No thank you. Give me Kurdistan every single time.

  3. getterdone says:

    I wasn’t joking…if there are going to be gay divorces as a result of gay marriages gone bad, then it’s time we made some money off it with a law firm specializing in gay divorce.

    • D says:

      Kind of a silly and stupid move i think. Never did they persecute blacks or go to a clan rally on the show and i can promise you the ones watching it on either side arent watching it for the flag that’s on the car. They watch it for daisy and cut off shorts and the fucking bad ass car jumps. Its taking things to a silly level but is what it is and the decision the made is theirs to make.

  4. getterdone says:

    Star Trek celebrity and gay marriage activist George Takei told a Phoenix news station Tuesday that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a “clown in blackface.”

    Takei, 78, was referring to Thomas’s recent dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 5-4 decision in which the Supreme Court found that there is a “fundamental” right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. “He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there,” Takei said.
    _____________________
    WTG and show your true colors George….what an assclown yourself!!! smh

    • D says:

      Accountability for what you say should be a two way street. Will see if they pull him from his commercials.

  5. D says:

    All those Dukes of Hazard guys should sue TV Land for the rest of the royalties they were to receive for length of whatever contract they had to run the show. To me it constitutes unlawful termination of contract for them to cancel the show over reasons that was not from violation of their agreement. Id think that would be a pretty easy case to win.

    • D says:

      Would be different if one of the actors appeared publicly, or was on social media doing things that violated some conduct policy in the agreement, but if they didnt there should be no reason that something like this should affect their livelihood,

  6. Tim Knight says:

    D, I agree with your 6:28 post. I’ve always said people can fly the flag or have their own opinions on issues privately. Just can’t do it at the government level because they represent all of us regardless if we don’t agree on every issue. It won’t work to keep bigotry alive.

    I was discriminated against when my wife and I were looking to get married. Because I had no religious affiliation, I agreed to get married through Judaism and under a huppa. The Rabbi at my daughter’s temple and Hebrew school refused to marry us because I wasn’t Jewish. My view was way to go to keep bigotry alive, but we moved on and found a Rabbi who was more liberal who we didn’t know at all. We met with him to see if he was willing to do it and he did.

    It’s a shitty feeling to be told you’re not pure enough which was basically what he was saying. But I got over it real fast because it didn’t have to be him. But glad we paid you all these years. Jerk!

  7. naplesfan2010 says:

    Surely you are not serious about the US creating ISIL?

  8. Mike E. says:

    Tim

    I agree about the laws of Judaism. They cry that people aren’t perpetuating the religion, and that it’s dying, and for making things difficult for people who want to marry outside the faith, they are killing it just as much.

    • Tim Knight says:

      It’s just another level of bigotry even if absolute hate is not involved. You’re telling me it’s not a good idea if I marry this woman because it’s not a good match. Matchmaker matchmaker!!! LOL

      • Mike E. says:

        I can’t agree it’s bigotry, it’s the laws of the religion. I think they need to be updated. You can’t blame someone for doing their job though. You saw the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. He had to become Greek Orthodox to marry her. Same idea, and even though I don’t agree with it, I understand they just follow the laws.

  9. Tim Knight says:

    Mike E, another Rabbi married us and he was great. There are sects of religion. That Rabbi who denied marrying us once complemented me for being so supportive of my daughter going to Hebrew school etc. But then he drew a line in the sand.

    I don’t dwell on it but it’s something that happened. I don’t know how else to describe it. What is he saying?

    It’s not about love, it’s about old laws. I find it absurd. But that’s my opinion. I’m not the law of all lands, I get it. Just think it’s silly.

    • Mike E. says:

      Any orthodox or conservative Rabbi technically CAN’T marry an interfaith marriage. Reformed can do it though, and that’s likely what you found.

      • Tim Knight says:

        It was a reformed temple with a conservative Rabbi, obviously. My wife was not cool with it either. She thought it was hypocritical.

  10. Mike E. says:

    I think in general, the problem with any old religion, is that it becomes completely outdated and somewhat irrelevant with the times. Things need to change, adapt with the times, like everything else.

  11. The Flying Pig says:

    Anyone doing anything good for the holiday weekend?

    Do you guys have the day off work tomorrow?

  12. Tim Knight says:

    I’ve been off since Wednesday. Heading to the shore tomorrow for a couple of days. A little vacation here. Then probably a BBQ on Sunday back home. Glad we have friends staying at our house this weekend to keep an eye out. 🙂

  13. Tim Knight says:

    Hey look at the Mets, they scored a run but gave up 6. This team is void of game support. Either pitch great or be damned. Ugh!!!!

  14. manitobafinfan says:

    Not to stir the pot or anything. But if a company is only going to grant divorces for Gay couples, is this not discrimination??

    As for confed flag. I never knew the message/history behind it but found it visually appealing as in ” Cool flag” I’d like it for curtains. Needless to say I am at an age where I now use curtains for curtains. Just my.02😎

  15. manitobafinfan says:

    http://we .tsn.ca/video/must-see-marshall-shakes-off-defender-scores-second-td-1.320168

    • manitobafinfan says:

      Take a look at this if ya can. Cam Marshall beasting . Week 1 he had 1 rushing TD,1 receiving TD and a 2 point conversion. Other RB Paris Cotton was even better.

  16. finfanrob says:

    getterdone replied to your comment Ken says: July 2, 2015 at 4:26 pm I like to be serviced i like to be paid. lol
    Ken will give you pro boner 😉

    lmao, well not the kind of green i work for.

  17. manitobafinfan says:

    Bombers Starting QB Drew Willy knocked out of tonight’s game in comes Brian Brohm.
    Week 1 , 3 starters and one of their backups went down.

  18. manitobafinfan says:

    Well it appears I broke the site again. Happy 4th all. G night

  19. wyoming85 says:

    Well hasn’t this been productive?

    Piggy to tell the truth!

    I’m going to lock the doors close the blinds, and shoot anyone that steps on my lawn!

    TIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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