Miami Dolphins: 2014 Memorable Plays
July, 11, 2014
Getty ImagesScore: Dolphins 28, Jets 24
Date: Nov. 27, 1994
Site: The Meadowlands
We have a winner. Dan Marino's fake spike in 1994 against the rival New York Jets garnered nearly 80 percent of the votes as the most memorable play in Miami Dolphins history -- and I agree with the selection.
For starters, there is no debating that Marino is the best player in Dolphins history, and this was the most memorable play of his storied career. Marino had everyone fooled by yelling "Clock! Clock! Clock!" before throwing a perfect back-shoulder throw to receiver Mark Ingram for a game-winning touchdown. The Dolphins won despite trailing 17-0 in the third quarter.
This is not to discredit the other two finalists. Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's hook-and-lateral call in January 1982 was a perfect play. But it happened in the second quarter of a playoff game the Dolphins eventually lost to the San Diego Chargers.
Greg Camarillo's 64-yard touchdown catch in 2007 might be the most exciting overtime play in franchise history. But the Dolphins were 1-15 that year. There were no high stakes other than to avoid the embarrassment of being the NFL's first 0-16 team. (By the way, the Detroit Lions set that mark the following year.) Also, the quarterback on Miami's overtime play was Cleo Lemon. You're going to choose Lemon's best play over Marino's best play?
All in all, there have been many tremendous plays and tremendous players throughout Miami's storied history. The Dolphins' franchise has won two Super Bowls and still boasts the only undefeated NFL team to win a championship. And now, after a tough run over the past five seasons, Miami fans hope the Dolphins will create more good memories sooner rather than later.
Special thanks to all the fans who participated this week.
July, 9, 2014
Joe Rimkus Jr./Miami Herald/Getty Images» VOTE HERE » NFC Plays: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South
This is the final of three plays nominated as the most memorable play in team history. Earlier this week we featured Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino's fake spike play against the New York Jets in 1994 and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's "Hook and Lateral" play call in the divisional playoffs in 1982. Please vote for your choice as the Dolphins’ most memorable play.
Score: Dolphins 22, Ravens 16 (OT)
Date: Dec. 16, 2007 Site: Dolphin Stadium
Miami Dolphins were in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Miami, a proud franchise with two Super Bowl titles and the undefeated 1972 team, was on the verge of also becoming the first NFL team to finish 0-16. No team had accomplished the feat since the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978.
The Dolphins were brutal in 2007. They averaged a measly 16.7 points per game and allowed 27.3 points per game. Cam Cameron was an awful choice as head coach and was fired after one season. The Dolphins also went through three starting quarterbacks in 2007 and lost their first 13 games -- often in blowout fashion.
Enter Week 15, where the Dolphins were again underdogs against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens were by no means world-beaters this season. They were 4-9 entering this contest. But Baltimore at least had talent, such a 1,000-yard rusher Willis McGahee and 1,000-yard receiver Derrick Mason on offense and future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on defense. Even in a down year, Baltimore was expected to win this game.
But in this game the Dolphins showed a resilience they had not shown all season. The Ravens jumped out to a 13-3 lead at halftime, and the Dolphins unexpectedly rallied in the second half behind quarterback Cleo Lemon (315 yards, one touchdown) and the game was tied 16-16 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Lemon sent shockwaves throughout the NFL when he connected with receiver Greg Camarillo for a 64-yard touchdown throw to beat Baltimore and deliver Miami’s only win of the season. Lemon and Camarillo are two forgotten names when you think of the history of the Dolphins. But they prevented Miami from experiencing one of the most embarrassing chapters in franchise history.
Ironically, after the Dolphins narrowly avoided history, the Detroit Lions set the record a year later by going 0-16 in 2008.
@JamesWalkerNFL Greg Camarillo's TD catch to prevent the 0-16 season.. I nearly cried when that happened— Brit (@britmc) June 6, 2014
July, 8, 2014
Manny Rubio/USA TODAY Sports» VOTE HERE » NFC Plays: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South
This is the second of three plays nominated as the most memorable play in team history. Earlier this week we featured Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino's fake-spike play against the New York Jets in 1994. On Wednesday we also will feature receiver Greg Camarillo’s 64-yard overtime touchdown reception in 2007 that prevented Miami from becoming the NFL’s first 0-16 team. Please vote for your choice as the Dolphins’ most memorable play.
Score: Chargers 41, Dolphins 38 (OT)
Date: Jan. 2, 1982 Site: Orange Bowl
San Diego Chargers were on the verge of blowing out the Dolphins in Miami. San Diego jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the divisional playoffs. But the Dolphins mounted a comeback for the ages. A major part of that comeback included a perfectly run hook-and-lateral play at the end of the first half that rarely works at the NFL level.
Dolphins Hall of Fame coach Don Shula made the perfect call on San Diego’s 40-yard line. Quarterback Don Strock hit receiver Duriel Harris on a curl route and San Diego’s safety and cornerback bit on the route. Dolphins running back Tony Nathan timed the play and began streaking outside. He caught the lateral from Harris and ran in untouched for the touchdown to cut the halftime deficit to 24-17. It was a long shot that gave the Dolphins momentum going into the locker room.
“It never even worked in practice,” Nathan told the South Florida Sun Sentinel of the play.
The astonishing play nearly deflated the Chargers entering the second half. The Dolphins scored 24 straight points against San Diego and tied the game in the third quarter. Miami even took a 38-31 lead in the fourth quarter to nearly pull off the improbable victory. But San Diego also showed resilience by scoring a late touchdown to force overtime and a sudden-death field goal to win it.
This playoff contest was voted “Game of the 1980s” by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Dolphins and Chargers had two 400-yard quarterbacks and 79 total points. Miami did not come out on top. But its hook and lateral remains the most memorable play in one of the best games in NFL history.
July, 7, 2014
Getty Images» VOTE HERE » NFC Plays: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South
This is the first of three plays nominated as the most memorable play in team history. In the next two days, we’ll also feature: Legendary coach Don Shula's “Hook and Lateral” play call in the 1982 divisional playoffs against the San Diego Chargers; and Greg Camarillo's 64-yard overtime touchdown catch in 2007 that prevented Miami from becoming the NFL's first 0-16 team. Please vote for your choice as the Dolphins’ most memorable play.
Score: Dolphins 28, Jets 24
Date: Nov. 27, 1994 Site: The Meadowlands
Miami Dolphins. But no touchdown pass was more clever and more memorable than his fake-spike play against the rival New York Jets in 1994.
In an important division game, the Dolphins fell behind 17-0 in the third quarter and looked out of it. But Marino rallied Miami with 28 second-half points to pull off the 28-24 win.
Marino's most important throw came on the final drive. Trailing by three points, the Dolphins were deep into New York’s territory. After the Dolphins made it to the Jets' 8-yard line with the clock running, Marino yelled on the field "Clock, clock, clock!" while motioning to spike the ball with his right hand. Jets players froze at the line of scrimmage. But instead of spiking the ball, wide receiver Mark Ingram ran a quick out and beat a confused Jets cornerback Aaron Glenn for the game-winning touchdown. Glenn was picked on and allowed three touchdown passes by Marino in this game.
At the time, this November game had first place on the line in the AFC East. The Jets collapsed after this loss and went winless in five straight games to end their season. The Dolphins went on to win the AFC East, advance to the playoffs and lost in the divisional round. The wily veteran Don Shula outcoached a young Pete Carroll in this game.
Ingram and Marino were in the zone together. Ingram caught nine passes for 117 yards and all four of Marino’s touchdowns. But the pair were especially in tune on the fake-spike play. This remains the defining play in the career of Marino, who is the best player in Dolphins history.