After the lows of a 5-11 season in 2019, the Miami Dolphins saw 2020 end with a crushing 56-26 loss to the Buffalo Bills. But a record of 10-6 showed improvement and, more importantly, hope for the future.

So, what does next season hold for head coach Brian Flores and his team? The answer may well lie in the Dolphins’ rich and varied past.


Super Bowl Champions

Dolphins fans do not need reminding that they haven’t won a playoff game since 2000, beating the Indianapolis Colts 23-17. They need to go back even further for their last Super Bowl appearance, a 16-38 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 1985.

However, the Dolphins reached the Super Bowl five times between 1971 and that 1985 defeat, winning twice in 1972 and 1973. Not only that, they became the first franchise team to ever appear in three consecutive Super Bowls.


Super Bowl VII

Super Bowl VII was played at Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California, on Jan 14, 1973. Thanks to two touchdowns in the first half from Howard Twilley and Jim Kiick, Miami Dolphins beat the Washington Redskins 14-7.

Miami Dolphins had threatened to shut out the Redskins until one of the most infamous Super Bowl history incidents. With a little over two minutes left on the clock, Garo Yepremian had a 42-yard field goal attempt to seal the win.

The kick was blocked, and in the ensuing chaos, Yepremian recovered the ball only to try and throw it. The ball slipped from his grasp and looped into the air, allowing Mike Bass, the Redskins’ cornerback, to score a 49-yard touchdown.

The Miami Dolphins held out to record their and head coach Don Shula’s first-ever Super Bowl victory. But this team wasn’t done, and the following year they became one of only three teams to reach three consecutive Super Bowls.

Super Bowl VIII

Super Bowl VIII was played on January 13th, 1974, at the Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas. The Miami Dolphins beat Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in a dominant display to clinch back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Two Larry Csonka touchdowns and one by Jim Kiick saw Miami score 24 points while shutting out the Vikings until the fourth quarter. Incredibly, Miami’s seven pass attempts were the fewest ever thrown by a Super Bowl team.

The Dolphins’ Larry Csonka racked up 145 rushing yards and 33 carries, breaking Super Bowl records. He also became the first running back to be named Super Bowl MVP.


The Perfect Season

However, the Miami Dolphins are arguably most famous for achieving the perfect season. In the 1972 season, the Dolphins bounced back from Super Bowl defeat the previous year to win every game and finish 17-0.

Their 14-7 Super Bowl victory over the Washington Redskins means they are still the first and only team to achieve a perfect campaign. Despite losing first-string quarterback Bob Griese with a broken ankle in week 5.

After defeating Cleveland in the playoffs, Miami faced their toughest test on New Year’s Eve against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Head coach Don Shula sent in Bob Griese in what he claimed was one of the toughest decisions of his career.

It proved to be the right decision, though, as the Dolphins beat the Steelers 21-17 in a tight game. Going on to win Super Bowl VII, the Miami Dolphins achieved the unthinkable and made NFL history.

AFC Champions

The Dolphins boast 5 AFC championships in total, including a dominant 3-year winning streak that began in 1971. It wasn’t until 1982 that they won again before their last triumph in 1984, inspired by quarterback Dan Marino, a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

All five championships were won under legendary head coach Don Shula, who holds the title of the winningest coach in NFL history.

  • 1971 Miami Dolphins 21-0 Baltimore Colts
  • 1972 Miami Dolphins 21-17 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 1973 Miami Dolphins 27-10 Oakland Raiders
  • 1982 Miami Dolphins 14-0 New York Jets
  • 1984 Miami Dolphins 45-28   Pittsburgh Steelers

While it’s been a long time since Dolphin fans saw any success, there aren’t many who would bet against them getting close next season.

Unfortunately, any fans who want to bet on their team winning another conference title can’t currently bet on Florida’s online sportsbooks. However, states like Iowa, boasting 10 apps live, allow fans to do so.


Will the Dolphins win again?

While many will say that a perfect season is not achievable, especially in today’s modern game, the Miami Dolphins have proven that it can be done. The big question, though, is, will today’s Dolphins ever reach those levels of success?

Next season’s 2021 draft will see the Dolphins pick 3rd and 18th in the first round. Not only that, they have a total of four picks from the top 50.

Exciting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will benefit from the experience of his first NFL season and can only get better. Add to the mix some clever draft picks, and Dolphin fans have every reason to get excited.

Next Season

For the first time in a long time, Miami Dolphin fans will be looking forward to next season. While a Super Bowl may be out of reach for this team, ending the playoff drought is not unrealistic.

Football’s unpredictable, that’s why we love it, but if the undefeated Dolphins of ’72 have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is impossible.