5 best seasons in Miami Dolphins franchise history

Miami Dolphins Dan Marino Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins Dan Marino Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami Dolphins have had some of the best seasons of any NFL team over their history. Which ones are the top in franchise history?

Believe it or not, the Miami Dolphins used to be one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. In fact, despite their troubles in the 21st century, they remain in the top 10 in all-time winning percentage.

The glory years of the 1970s and 1980s produced some of both the best players and best seasons that the Dolphins have ever had, and they remain fondly in the memories of the fans that are old enough to remember them. Things haven’t been as glorious since the departures of Dan Marino and Don Shula, as the team has been mediocre at the very best for the better part of two decades.

Remembering the good ol’ days can be therapeutic for fans who can legally purchase alcohol but weren’t alive for the last playoff victory. So we are going to take a walk down memory lane and take a look at the 5 best seasons in Miami Dolphins history.

We start off with a season that doesn’t rank in the top 10 in terms of wins but appears on the list due to their historical struggles from the season prior:

Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports /

#5 best season in Miami Dolphins history: 2008

Not a lot of great seasons in a franchise’s history start with the team getting off to a 2-4 start, or end with a loss on Wild Card Weekend. But thanks to some innovation from the coaching staff and a career resurgence of quarterback Chad Pennington, the 2008 season was probably the best and most enjoyable one of the last two decades.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the Dolphins needed a spark to their offense in the early going of 2008. After starting out 0-2 and facing a date in New England with the mighty Patriots, head coach Tony Sparano and his crew cooked up the idea of the Wild Cat offense, and Miami never looked back.

The Dolphins would win 9 of the final 10 games of the regular season, winning the AFC East for the only time this century and securing a playoff date with the Baltimore Ravens. Miami would come up short in the postseason, but that didn’t stop that season from being one of the most memorable in team history.

It wasn’t just that the Dolphins qualified for the elusive playoff spot, but it came on the heels of what was the worst season the franchise ever endured. After being an overtime victory away from becoming the first team in league history to go 0-16 in 2007, Miami’s turnaround was historic. Their +10 in the win column was the biggest one-year improvement any team had ever seen and made for what was probably the most enjoyable season since the Marino era.