Miami Dolphins at 50: Top 10 Games

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No. 10 – Wild Card Round: Miami Dolphins vs. Seattle Seahawks; Jan. 9, 2000

Dan Marino made a career out of coming from behind. In his last season, he was clearly in the twilight of his career. A nerve injury in his shoulder knocked him out for a few games and when he came back he clearly wasn’t the same quarterback.

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However, when the Miami Dolphins trailed the Seattle Seahawks in their 1999 Wildcard matchup, Marino would muster yet another comeback despite his injury and his dubious offensive attack.

In the first half, the Miami offense was abysmal. They mustered only three points and two drives of over 30 yards and neither went over 40. Seattle didn’t do much either with the football meaning they only held a slight 10-3 edge over the Dolphins going into halftime.

Marino led the Dolphins down the field on their opening drive of the second half to tie the game at 10. The key play of the drive was a 27-yard completion to O.J. McDuffie which helped to set up a one-yard touchdown pass to Oronde Gadsden.

The Seahawks took the lead back immediately on the opening kickoff as Charlie Rogers fumbled the return only to take it to the house.

After trading punts, Miami running back Autry Denson helped put the Dolphins in field goal range with a 17-yard run then added another for 11. Olindo Mare hit a 50-yard field goal to bring the score to 17-13 Seahawks, and so it would remain until the fourth quarter.

With a little over nine minutes left in the game, a Miami drive started horribly. Running back J.J. Johnson lost two yards. Then, after an incompletion, Richmond Webb was flagged for a false start. The Dolphins faced a third and 17 from their own eight yard line.

It was here that Dan Marino would pull the Dolphins out of the fire. Marino connected with wide receiver Tony Martin for 23 yards to get the first down. The next play, Marino and Martin would hook up again for 17. In just two plays, Miami moved from their own eight to midfield.

After a three yard rush from Johnson, Marino found Martin yet again – this time for 20 yards – to get the Dolphins inside the Seahawks’ 30.

Then Marino found a new target, Oronde Gadsden, and they connected for 24 yards to get to the Seattle five. The Dolphins finished the possession with two runs by Johnson, the last of which was good for a two-yard score. Miami took their first lead of the game with less than five minutes left to play.

The Dolphins defense hung on to the lead, not allowing Seattle to cross their own 30 on two different occasions.

Marino’s last career victory, fittingly enough a come from behind pursuit, was his only of the 2000’s as he retired on March 13, 2000.