Miami Dolphins at 50: Top 10 Games
By Dan Heaning
No. 2 – Super VIII: Miami Dolphins vs. Minnesota Vikings; Jan. 13, 1974
Come on, you knew after going through three straight playoff games the Super Bowl victories were just around the corner. This one completed Miami’s repeat as champions and one of the best two-year runs in the history of the league.
Standing in the Dolphins’ way were the Purple People Eaters. The Minnesota Vikings had gone to the Super Bowl a few times but ultimately failed to come away with football’s ultimate prize.
They’d fail to do so again as the Dolphins laughed their way to a victory in this one.
The game was essentially over at the opening kickoff.
Miami took their first possession and ran it down the Vikings’ throats as the Dolphins gained 43 out of their 62 yards on the ground. The drive was finished off by a five yard score by Larry Csonka eating up 4:50 on the game clock.
A bad punt by Mike Eischeid gave Miami great field position on their second drive. Csonka rushed for 28 yards during the short possession while Jim Kiick scored on the one-yard rush to make it 14-0 Dolphins.
The teams traded a few punts in the second quarter, but Miami would get back on the scoreboard during their second possession of the period with a 28-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian. The field goal gave the Dolphins a commanding 17-0 lead with 6:33 left in the half.
Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton would then use practically the rest of the half to guide the Vikings 74 yards into scoring position. With Minnesota on the Dolphins’ 10, the Vikings handed the ball to Oscar Reed for three consecutive plays. Facing a fourth and one on Miami’s six, Reed got his third straight rush but fumbled the ball and Jake Scott recovered. The half came to a close with the Vikings unable to get on the board.
Tarkenton couldn’t replicate a similar drive with his first possession of the second half. In fact, the team went backwards and was forced to punt. The kick only went for 48 yards allowing Miami to start in Minnesota territory.
The Dolphins took their opening drive and proceeded to finish off the Vikings. This time through the air.
A 27-yard pass from Bob Griese to Paul Warfield put Miami in the red zone where Csonka would finish off the drive with another touchdown. With about nine minutes left in the third, the game is effectively over as the Dolphins control a 24-0 lead.
From there, Minnesota would ruin the shutout early in the fourth quarter. The hole was too big to escape though, and Miami won 24-7.
The Dolphins not only completed their second Super Bowl run, but absolutely trounced an established team like the Vikings to do it.
Csonka captured the MVP honors with his dominating performance. He rushed for 145 yards on 33 carries with two touchdowns while the “No Name Defense” held the Vikings to just 72 rushing yards.
The Dolphins have not won a Super Bowl since.