Day two of our “worst moments in Miami Dolphins history” comes with a trip to the other side of the bracket. The retirement of Dan Marino and 1985 AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots.
Dan Marino retired at the end of the 2000 season after considering an option to play for the Minnessotta Vikings. Dave Wannstedt would replace HC Jimmy Johnson and would not guarantee Marino the starting job let alone a spot on the roster. While thanking many in the Dolphins organization during his retirement speech, he did not mention the name of JJ. A judgement call that would occur again in 5 years during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
Dan would retire as the NFL’s most prolific passer in history. He would do so after a 62-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs, one week after leading the Phins to a comeback win against the then AFC Seattle Seahawks.
His jersey number 13 would be retired the same day of his announcment with a half time ceremony conducted the following season.
The 1985 AFC Championship was one of the more bitter tastes in the history of the Miami Dolphins. In losing to division rival New England, the Dolphins would lose at home for the first time to the Patriots since 1966 and end an 18 game winning streak against them. Dan Marino would toss 2 touchdown passes, but would come up short 31-14. New England would win behind the arm of QB Tony Eason and his 3 TD passes.
It was during the 1985 season that the Dolphins led a charged crowd at home on a Monday night that put an end to the Chicago Bears perfect season. The winner of this Championship game would face the Bears in the Super Bowl. It was rumored sometime later that Bears HC Mike Ditka was very pleased his team did not have to face the Dolphins and said they were the one team the Bears couldn’t beat.
The 1985 AFC Championship game would be the last game played at the Miami Orange Bowl for the Dolphins as they opened the following season at the new Joe Robbie Stadium (now Dolphins Stadium). It would also mark the beginning of the end for the Dolphins franchise in terms of playoffs. In 1992 Miami would make it to the AFC Championship game again. A loss to the Bills. It would be the last time that the Dolphins went that deep into the playoffs.
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