1973 Miami Dolphins season

The 1973 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise's eighth season and fourth season in the National Football League (NFL). The team entered the 1973 season as defending Super Bowl champion following its undefeated 1972 season.

In week 1, the Dolphins extended their winning streak to 18 with a 21–13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. However, the following week, they would be defeated 12-7 by the Oakland Raiders to end the winning streak. The streak stood as an NFL record until it was broken by the New England Patriots in 2004 whose record of 21 consecutive wins still stands.

The team won the AFC East, finishing with a regular season record of 12–2, and then defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round and then the Raiders in the AFC Championship game, and defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the league’s eighth Super Bowl. It was the Dolphins’ second consecutive (and to date last)[1] Super Bowl victory. With the Dolphins' combined records of 17–0 and 15–2 over the course of their 1972 and 1973 seasons, the Dolphins posted a 32–2 total record over 2 years, for a winning percentage of .941.

1973 Miami Dolphins season
Head coachDon Shula
OwnerJoe Robbie
Home fieldMiami Orange Bowl
Results
Record12–2
Division place1st AFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (Bengals) 34–16
Won AFC Championship (Raiders) 27–10
Won Super Bowl VIII (vs. Vikings) 24–7

Season summary

Although the Dolphins were unable to match their 17–0 perfect season of 1972, many sports writers, fans, and Dolphins players themselves felt that the 1973 team was better. While the 1972 team faced no competition in the regular season that had a record of better than 7-8, the 1973 team played against a much tougher schedule that included games against the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dallas Cowboys (all playoff teams), plus two games against a resurgent Bills squad that featured 2,000-yard rusher O.J. Simpson. Miami finished with a 12–2 regular season, including their opening game victory over the San Francisco 49ers that tied an NFL record with eighteen consecutive wins. The Dolphins’ streak ended in week two with a 12–7 loss to the Raiders in Berkeley, California.

Just like the two previous seasons, Miami’s offense relied primarily on their rushing attack. Fullback Larry Csonka recorded his third consecutive 1,000 rushing yard season (1,003 yards), while running back Mercury Morris rushed for 954 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, while leading the league with 6.4 yards per carry. Running back Jim Kiick was also a key contributor, rushing for 257 yards, and catching 27 passes for 208 yards. Quarterback Bob Griese, the AFC's second leading passer, completed only 116 passes for 1,422 yards, but threw about twice as many touchdown passes (17) as interceptions (8), and earned an 84.3 passer rating. Wide receiver Paul Warfield remained the main deep threat on the team, catching 29 passes for 514 yards and 11 touchdowns. The offensive line remained strong led by center Jim Langer and right guard Larry Little. Griese, Csonka, Warfield, Langer, and Little would all eventually be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Miami’s “No Name Defense” continued to dominate their opponents. Future Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti recovered three fumbles and returned one for a touchdown. Safety Dick Anderson led the team with eight interceptions, which he returned for 163 yards and two touchdowns. And safety Jake Scott, the previous season's Super Bowl MVP, had four interceptions and 71 return yards. The Dolphins were still using their “53” defense devised at the beginning of the 1972 season, where Bob Matheson (#53) would be brought in as a fourth linebacker in a 3–4 defense, with Manny Fernandez at nose tackle. Matheson could either rush the quarterback or drop back into coverage.

In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1973 Dolphins as the eight-greatest defense in NFL history,[2] noting that the team “held 11 opponents to 14 points or less, setting a record by allowing just 150 points in a 14-game season”. Defensive end Bill Stanfill set a Dolphins’ sack record that still stands, with 18.5. In the playoffs and Super Bowl, they allowed only 33 points against Cincinnati, Oakland and Minnesota. Stanfill, Manny Fernandez, Hall of Fame middle linebacker Nick Buoniconti, and safeties Dick Anderson (AP Defensive Player of the Year) and Jake Scott were all named to the 1973 All-Pro team. They also held record-breaking rusher O.J. Simpson to his lowest total yardage of the season, a mere 55 yards in Week Six.

Offseason

Draft

1973 Miami Dolphins draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 52 Chuck Bradley  TE Oregon
3 83 Leon Gray *  OT Jackson State
4 104 Bo Rather  WR Michigan
5 111 Don Strock  QB Virginia Tech
5 130 Dave McCurry  DB Iowa State
6 156 Ed Newman *  OG Duke
7 160 Kevin Reilly  LB Villanova
7 163 Benny Shepherd  RB Arkansas Tech
7 178 Willie Hatter  WR Northern Illinois
7 182 Thomas Smith  FB Miami (FL)
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[3]

Personnel

Staff

1973 Miami Dolphins staff
Front office

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Don Shula

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Roster

1973 Miami Dolphins roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

{{{reserve_lists}}}


Practice squad {{{practice_squad}}}


Rookies in italics

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance TV Time (ET) TV Announcers
1 September 16, 1973 San Francisco 49ers W 21–13
68,275
CBS 1:00pm Jack Whitaker & Wayne Walker
2 September 23, 1973 at Oakland Raiders L 7–12
74,121
NBC 4:00pm Curt Gowdy & Al DeRogatis
3 September 30, 1973 New England Patriots W 44–23
62,508
NBC 1:00pm Jay Randolph & Paul Maguire
4 October 7, 1973 New York Jets W 31–3
63,850
NBC 1:00pm Charlie Jones & Al DeRogatis
5 October 15, 1973 at Cleveland Browns W 17–9
70,070
ABC 9:00pm Frank Gifford, Don Meredith & Howard Cosell
6 October 21, 1973 Buffalo Bills W 27–6
65,241
NBC 1:00pm Ross Porter & Willie Davis
7 October 28, 1973 at New England Patriots W 30–14
57,617
NBC 1:00pm Jay Randolph & Paul Maguire
8 November 4, 1973 at New York Jets W 24–14
57,791
NBC 1:00pm Charlie Jones & Sam DeLuca
9 November 11, 1973 Baltimore Colts W 44–0
60,332
NBC 1:00pm Charlie Jones & Sam DeLuca
10 November 18, 1973 at Buffalo Bills W 17–0
77,138
NBC 1:00pm Ross Porter & Willie Davis
11 November 22, 1973 at Dallas Cowboys W 14–7
58,089
NBC 3:30 pm Curt Gowdy & Al DeRogatis
12 December 3, 1973 Pittsburgh Steelers W 30–26
68,901
ABC 9:00pm Frank Gifford, Don Meredith & Howard Cosell
13 December 9, 1973 at Baltimore Colts L 3–16
58,446
NBC 1:00pm Charlie Jones & Sam DeLuca
14 December 15, 1973 Detroit Lions W 34–7
53,375
CBS 1:00pm Jack Buck & Pat Summerall

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
49ers 3 730 13
• Dolphins 3 3015 21
  • Date: September 16
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 82°F; wind 8

[4]

Week 2

The Raiders became the first team to defeat Miami since Super Bowl VI.

Week 4

1 234Total
Jets 0 003 3
• Dolphins 14 1070 31
  • Date: October 7
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 80°F; wind 6

[5]

Week 8

1 234Total
• Dolphins 7 7100 24
Jets 0 1400 14
  • Date: November 4
  • Location: Shea Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 47°F; wind 17

[6]

Week 12

1 234Total
Steelers 0 3716 26
• Dolphins 20 1000 30
  • Date: December 3
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game start: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 68,901
  • Game weather: 75°F; wind 14
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers (ABC): Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, and Don Meredith

[7]

Week 14

1 234Total
Lions 0 07 7
• Dolphins 14 1730 34
  • Date: December 15
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 69°F; wind 7

[8]

Standings

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Miami Dolphins 12 2 0 .857 7–1 9–2 343 150 W1
Buffalo Bills 9 5 0 .643 6–2 7–4 259 230 W4
New England Patriots 5 9 0 .357 1–7 3–8 258 300 L2
New York Jets 4 10 0 .286 4–4 4–7 240 306 L2
Baltimore Colts 4 10 0 .286 2–6 2–9 226 341 W2

[9]

Postseason

Divisional

1 234Total
Bengals 3 1300 16
• Dolphins 14 7103 34

[10]

The Dolphins outgained Cincinnati in total yards, 400–194, and first downs, 27–11, while also scoring on three of their first four possessions and shutting out the Bengals in the second half. The Dolphins racked up 241 yards on the ground, including 106 from Mercury Morris and 71 from Larry Csonka, while receiver Paul Warfield caught 5 passes for 95 yards and a score.

Conference Championship

1 234Total
Raiders 0 0100 10
• Dolphins 7 7310 27
  • Date: December 30
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game start: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 79,325
  • Game weather: 74°F; wind 8
  • Referee: Tommy Bell
  • TV announcers (NBC): Curt Gowdy and Al DeRogatis

[11]

Running back Larry Csonka led the Dolphins to a victory with 117 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Mercury Morris also ran for 86 yards. Bob Griese threw just six passes during the game, completing three.

Super Bowl

1 234Total
Vikings 0 007 7
• Dolphins 14 370 24

[12] Larry Csonka rushed for 145 yards on 33 carries, scoring two touchdowns, and was named MVP. Bob Griese threw just seven passes all game, completing six.

Awards and honors

Notes and references

  1. ^ as of 2013
  2. ^ The List: Best NFL defense of all-time, 2007
  3. ^ "1973 Miami Dolphins draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  5. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  6. ^ Pro Football Reference.com
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  9. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 296
  10. ^ Pro Football Reference.com
  11. ^ Pro Football Reference.com
  12. ^ Pro Football Reference.com

External links

List of AFC champions

The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of two conferences within the National Football League, the National Football Conference (NFC) being the other. The AFC has its roots in the American Football League (AFL), which began to play in 1960. In 1970, the AFL merged with the NFL. As part of the merger, the former AFL teams, plus three former NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers), were placed into the AFC. The remaining former NFL teams were placed in the NFC.

Scoring summary
Q1SFGossett 47 yard field goalSF 3–0
Q1MIAYepremian 31 yard field goalTie 3–3
Q2MIAYepremian 53 yard field goalMIA 6–3
Q2SFWashington 3 yard run (Gossett kick)SF 10–6
Q3SFGossett 30 yard field goalSF 13–6
Q4MIAWarfield 10 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)Tie 13–13
Q4MIAYepremian 45 yard field goalMIA 16–13
Q4MIASafety, Wittum tackled by Johnson in end zoneMIA 18–13
Q4MIAYepremian 22 yard field goalMIA 21–13
Game information
Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP MIA OAK
1 Raiders 12-yard field goal by Blanda 0 3
2 Raiders 46-yard field goal by Blanda 0 6
3 Raiders 19-yard field goal by Blanda 0 9
4 Raiders 10-yard field goal by Blanda 0 12
4 Dolphins Griese 28-yard touchdown reception from Mandich, Yepremian kick good 7 12
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 7 12
Scoring summary
Q1MIAMorris 3 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q1MIABriscoe 12 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 14–0
Q2MIAYepremian 19 yard field goalMIA 17–0
Q2MIAWarfield 3 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 24–0
Q3MIAWarfield 40 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 31–0
Q4NYJHowfield 38 yard field goalMIA 31–3
Scoring summary
Q1MIAMorris 19 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q2NYJRiggins 1 yard run (Howfield kick)Tie 7–7
Q2NYJRiggins 3 yard run (Howfield kick)NYJ 14–7
Q2MIAMorris 4 yard run (Yepremian kick)Tie 14–14
Q3MIAWarfield 37 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 21–14
Q3MIAYepremian 20 yard field goalMIA 24–14
Scoring summary
Q1MIAAnderson 27 yard interception return (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q1MIAYepremian 28 yard field goalMIA 10–0
Q1MIAYepremian 46 yard field goalMIA 13–0
Q1MIAMandich 2 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 20–0
Q2MIAAnderson 38 yard interception return (Yepremian kick)MIA 27–0
Q2PITGerela 37 yard field goalMIA 27–3
Q2MIAYepremian 14 yard field goalMIA 30–3
Q3PITP. Pearson 5 yard pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick)MIA 30–10
Q4PITHarris 21 yard run (Gerela kick)MIA 30–17
Q4PITB. Pearson 17 yard pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick)MIA 30–24
Q4PITSafety, Griese tackled by White in end zoneMIA 30–26
Scoring summary
Q1MIAWarfield 21 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q1MIAWarfield 7 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 14–0
Q2MIAYepremian 27 yard field goalMIA 17–0
Q2MIAWarfield 16 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 24–0
Q2MIAWarfield 4 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 31–0
Q3MIAYepremian 28 yard field goalMIA 34–0
Q4DETOwens 5 yard run (Mann kick)MIA 34–7
Scoring summary
Q1MIAWarfield 13 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q1CINMuhlmann 24 yard field goalMIA 7–3
Q1MIACsonka 1 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 14–3
Q2MIAMorris 4 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 21–3
Q2CINCraig 45 yard interception return (Muhlmann kick)MIA 21–10
Q2CINMuhlmann 46 yard field goalMIA 21–13
Q2CINMuhlmann 10 yard field goalMIA 21–16
Q3MIAMandich 7 yard pass from Griese (Yepremian kick)MIA 28–16
Q3MIAYepremian 50 yard field goalMIA 31–16
Q4MIAYepremian 46 yard field goalMIA 34–16
Scoring summary
Q1MIACsonka 11 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q2MIACsonka 2 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 14–0
Q3OAKBlanda 21 yard field goalMIA 14–3
Q3MIAYepremian 42 yard field goalMIA 17–3
Q3OAKSiani 25 yard pass from Stabler (Blanda kick)MIA 17–10
Q4MIAYepremian 26 yard field goalMIA 20–10
Q4MIACsonka 2 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 27–10
Scoring summary
Q1MIACsonka 5 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 7–0
Q1MIAKiick 1 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 14–0
Q2MIAYepremian 28 yard field goalMIA 17–0
Q3MIACsonka 2 yard run (Yepremian kick)MIA 24–0
Q4MINTarkenton 4 yard run (Cox kick)MIA 24–7
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Division championships (13)
Conference championships (5)
League championships (2)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (54)

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.