FOLLOWING PERFECTION: The 1973 Miami Dolphins – GAME 8: MIAMI @ NEW YORK JETS, Nov. 4, 1973

dolphins 73

By: Randy Campbell (OLD DOLFAN)

Game Info
Stadium Shea Stadium
Start Time (ET) 1:00pm
Roof outdoors
Surface grass
Weather 47 degrees relative humidity 43%, wind 17 mph

The Miami Dolphins convincing 30-14 victory the previous Sunday at New England put to rest any concerns about Miami’s offensive production. Since losing at Oakland in week #2, the Dolphins had ripped off five consecutive wins, averaging 30 points per game in the process.

 Miami’s offensive line, the best in the entire National Football League, had led the way.  The passing game was clicking.  The running game was both dominant and time consuming.  And, through seven games, quarterback Bob Griese had been sacked only SEVEN TIMES!  Even the most fanatical Jets fans realized that on this cold and windy day New York would be a decided underdog.

 Head coach Don Shula knew that a win over New York would put his team closer to achieving his first major goal of the season: winning the AFC East and a spot in the playoffs.  A victory would put the Fins at 7-1, fully two games clear of the Buffalo Bills, who were losing at New Orleans.  If form held true, the Patriots, Colts and Jets would all be 2-6 and effectively out of the playoff race in a 14 game regular season.

More thoughts came to Shula’s mind as he pondered this game.  The Jets and Joe Namath were responsible for Shula’s darkest moment, his 16-7 loss in the historic Orange Bowl as head coach of the favored Colts in Super Bowl III.  When Shula became head coach of the Dolphins in 1970 the Dolphins had NEVER DEFEATED the Jets, losing all eight previous meetings.  Shula promised Dolphin fans he would turn around the Jets-Dolphins rivalry.

Shula delivered.  Beginning in 1970, Shula’s Dolphins won 14 of the next 16 games in this blood rivalry!!  Long suffering Miami fans were absolutely THRILLED TO TEARS as their beloved Fins POUNDED the Jets and their nasty, profane, fans for nearly a decade!!  But no one wanted to beat the Jets more than Don Shula.  With him, it was personal.  It was THE PAYBACK for Super Bowl III.

 In 1972 Shula’s Dolphins won two close, hotly contested games vs. the Jets on the way to the NFL’s one and only Perfect Season.  The second game (which Miami won 28-24 after trailing 17-7) was played in front of 80,000 crazed, frenzied fans in the historic Orange Bowl.  It was a particularly brutal game.  A total of nine New York players had to be helped off the field.  Six of them were put out for the season in what Jets’ defensive back Steve Tannen called “a war.”  The effects of this game would last for YEARS!  The Jets would never have another winning season in the decade of the ’70’s!!

 Things seldom seemed to go as expected in the Dolphins-Jets rivalry.  Yes, Miami seemed to be clicking on all cylinders, winning five straight contests.  Yes, Joe Namath was out with an injury.  And, yes, back up QB Al Woodard had been inconsistent.  But this was the Dolphins and the Jets, where ANYTHING could, and usually DID, happen!  Jets star running back, and future Hall of Famer, John Riggins, hoped he could lead his team to s stunning upset victory.

Jets’ fans roared as the Dolphins started their first series from the Miami 20.  Hard running by Csonka and Morris got Miami rolling.  On third down, Griese completed a 12 yard pass to Jim Kiick.  Another third and long saw Griese hit Kiick out of the backfield again for a clutch first down.  From the New York 19, Mercury Morris burst through a nice hole and scored!  7-0, Miami, at the end of the first quarter.

 New York’s offense came alive in the second quarter.  Crisp passing by Al Woodall to running back Emerson Boozer and speedy tight end Richard Caster got the Jets moving.  From the Miami 1 yard line, John Riggins roared into the end zone to tie the score at 7-7.  A few minutes later, Riggins scored again, this time from the 3, and the underdog Jets had a 14-7 lead!  Jet fans were screaming their lungs out!!

MorrisMiami’s defensive lineman Manny Fernandez stopped yet another Jets drive when he pounced on a fumble at the Dolphins’ 43.  Key receptions by Jim Kiick and Marlin Briscoe got the Dolphins deep into Jets’ territory as time ticked away.  Pulling guard Larry Little led Mercury Morris on a 4 yard touchdown jaunt and the Dolphins had tied the game at 14-14 just before halftime.  In the locker room, Griese and Paul Warfield discussed possible ways to beat Jets cornerback Earlie Thomas.  On Miami’s first drive of Warfieldthe third quarter the offense advanced the ball to the Miami 44 on running plays.  Then Griese threw a perfect 19 yard strike to Briscoe to New York’s 37 yard line.  Griese decided it was time to hit Warfield with a long bomb.  But just after Griese released the ball, a gust of wind caught the ball, causing it to flutter.  Warfield casually ignored the ball then sharply reversed his field, causing Earlie Thomas TO FALL DOWN!!  Warfield snared the pass and exploded past Chris Farasopoulos for the go-ahead touchdown!  “Warfield really suckered our cornerback,” said Jets head coach Weeb Ewbank.  Clearly, it was one of the most amazing moves ever performed by the future Hall of Fame wide receiver!

A long Miami drive later in the third quarter ended when Garo Yepremian connected on a 20 yard field goal, putting the Dolphins ahead 24-14.  Miami’s ground game, supplemented by key Griese completions, helped Miami control the ball in a scoreless fourth stanza.  When the game ended, Miami celebrated their hard fought 10 point victory against a tough and determined Jets squad.


 In the post game locker room, Don Shula singled out Bob Griese for his play calling and extra sharp passing (13-19, 198 yards and the key touchdown to Warfield).  Csonka, Kiick and Morris also drew praise, as did the “No Name Defense” for shutting out the Jets in the decisive second half.

 The 1973 Miami Dolphins were now 7-1.  And they had SWEPT the two-game series with the hated Jets for the second consecutive season!  Somewhere, Don Shula was smiling.

This entry was posted in Absolute Perfection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

251 Responses to FOLLOWING PERFECTION: The 1973 Miami Dolphins – GAME 8: MIAMI @ NEW YORK JETS, Nov. 4, 1973

  1. Mike E. says:

    LOL @ Al

  2. Mike E. says:

    Piggy – I’m taking a break from jerseys. Maybe I’ll just get a Dolphins shirt, or a jacket.

  3. getterdone says:

    Omar Kelly ✔ @OmarKelly
    Confession:What I hate about this time of season is the fact CASUAL Phins fan will show up today or tomorrow & act like they know everything

    Omar Kelly ✔ @OmarKelly
    I think I’m going to be doing a pop quiz just so I can identify who is who.
    I guess his first quiz question is:
    True or False: Channing Crowder is a top 50 all time Phin?

  4. wyoming85 says:

    The trained EYE?

    Omar KellyVerified account
    iPhone people….my phone will only vibrate. Won’t ring. I didn’t set it to just vibrate. What do I do.

  5. Tim Knight says:

    You know what, I like this uniform even with the nostalgic helmet. My issue with that logo on that helmet is it looked like a shoddy silkscreen. But I do like those unis.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      They actually look pretty cool the more I look at them

      I do like the new unis with minimal orange too though

  6. getterdone says:
    • Tim Knight says:

      I approve this message.

      NFL pundits continue to let him fly under the radar like he’s only better than the Christian Ponders, Blaine Gabberts or Jake Lockers of the world. Okay! LOL

  7. getterdone says:

    from MH

    The Dolphins have had preliminary extension talks with Lamar Miller.
    With one of the worst 2016 cap situations, Miami “can’t say for sure” if they’ll be able to keep Miller. The Dolphins view Jay Ajayi as a three-down back and possible in-house replacement. Millier is making $660K in the final year of his rookie deal.

  8. getterdone says:

    The Death Star weapon is here! Japan fires world’s most powerful laser to produce energy equal to 1,000 times the planet’s power consumption

    Read more:

  9. The Flying Pig says:

  10. The Flying Pig says:

    When I go to fla I think I want to take the doors off my jeep to make it look like this!

  11. D says:

    Oh if you guys want to vomit go to bleacher report and read the love story, er I mean article Mike Freeman wrote about miko. He apparently has no clue what a person who knows anything about football really is.

  12. The Flying Pig says:

    It’s like wonder woman’s jet

  13. The Flying Pig says:

  14. Ken says:

    That giant sucking sound coming from Mexico is me catching my breath after lmao so hard at the thought of Crowder being a top 50 anything

  15. Mike E. says:

    Mets trade P Zack Wheeler and SS/2B Wilmer Flores to Brewers for OF Carlos Gomez! I think it’s a good move, and I will hope CarGo will be happy to be back in NY, and play better than he has in MIL

  16. son of a son of a shula says:

    BoulderPhinfan says:
    July 29, 2015 at 9:49 am (Edit)
    LOL. This is comment from one of the ESPN articles.
    Dale Hopkins • Clearwater, Florida
    Philbin: “Suh, pick up that wrapper off the ground” Suh:” I will pick you up by your foot and throw your %$##@#$ @$$ into the cheap seats boy”

    See this is where espn makes an ass out of itself. There is a very subtle difference in how this would go down. Coach would say Suh get that gum wrapper picked up and Suh would say sure boss and then grab Geno Smith (or insert division foe here) by both ankles and while holding him upside down have Geno pick up the fucking gum wrapper.

    We clear?

    Suh is here, EVERYTHING is different now

  17. son of a son of a shula says:

    Channing Crowder had like 3 good games. That doesn’t make you top 50 in team history.

    Playoff appearances?
    Pro Bowls?
    All time team stat leader in anything?


    Have a good day

    • steveccnv says:

      You guys only seem to remember the Crowder upon exit the one with the mouth, but he was very good for several yrs. I don’t think top 50, but he was pretty good. Did everyone forget Hugh Green. For a while there (Marino yrs) our D was held together by our MLB.

      • son of a son of a shula says:

        I saw all of Crowder, he was better outside than in but still not in the top 50 by any stretch.

  18. son of a son of a shula says:

    The surf board with the bite taken out is the best analogy of the patsies trying to say there is “NO” evidence of wrong doing… yada yada

    If you f’ing science is so good then explain why the balls on the other side of the field were fine.
    Fuck off all of you assholes, lying – cheating – assholes

  19. son of a son of a shula says:

    In the right margin above is a section called “Categories” listed in there is a section called “Absolute Perfection” and he would be able to navigate quite easily to all of the stories from OD. there’s also a section called sonny football fantasy he may want to check out

  20. son of a son of a shula says:

    News Flash for Omar:

    If you truly believe Crowder is a top 50 player all time for this storied franchise then you should do everyone a favor and resign from covering the team. We have Suh now and we are about to become a contender we don’t need this sophomoric, idiotic, unsubstantiated type of reporting here. It’s embarrassing.
    Step your game up!

  21. steveccnv says:

    Lucas Duda (duda, duda bus stop here) hit 3 solo HRs for New York, but San Diego pelted Bartolo Colon on the way to 6 early runs, and the Padres cruised comfortably.

  22. son of a son of a shula says:

    Welcome back Josh Freeman. When I wrote the other day he had just been cut so I said “Nice knowing you” because I thought he was gone but the truth is I like him and hope he finds a way onto the roster so best of luck to you Josh as camp begins. Give ’em hell.

  23. D says:

    Wondered if the wailing had started yet. Evan Mathis supposedly signing with the falcons. Maybe still in denial or just to inconsolable to type. I’ll check back later for what should be pretty interesting discussion lol

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s