1985 Regular Season Game vs. Chicago Bears -- On Dec. 2, 1985 in a game at the Orange Bowl shown on Monday Night Football, the Dolphins defeated the Chicago Bears 38-24. With Chicago 12-0 at the time, members of the 1972 Perfect Season Dolphins were on the sidelines to urge the current Dolphins team to protect their unique legacy. Miami built a 31-10 halftime lead, with Don Shula calling it “the best half of offensive football I’ve ever been associated with.” For the game, Dan Marino was 14-27 for 270 yards and three touchdowns, with two going to Nat Moore, while Mark Duper and Mark Clayton caught five passes each for a combined 195 yards. The Bears went on to win the Super Bowl, with their lone loss coming against the Dolphins to prevent them from going undefeated.
In all, the ballot contained seven memorable games in Dolphins history that were selected on the basis of a number of factors, including the team’s performance, the impact of their outcome and their historical significance. The other six games were as follows:
1971 AFC Playoff Game at Kansas City Chiefs -- The Dolphins defeated the Chiefs 27-24 in Kansas City when Garo Yepremian kicked a 37-yard field goal with 7:40 elapsed in the second overtime on Christmas Day in 1971. At 82 minutes and 40 seconds, it remains the longest game in NFL history. The Dolphins battled back three different times to tie the game in regulation, including a touchdown pass from Bob Griese to Marv Fleming with 96 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Super Bowl VII vs. Washington Redskins -- The Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins 14-7 on January 14, 1973 at the Coliseum in Los Angeles to finish 17-0, the only perfect season in NFL history. Miami’s 14-0 halftime lead held up behind Manny Fernandez’ 17 tackles and three interceptions by the defense, including two by game MVP Jake Scott. Washington’s only touchdown came off a return of a blocked field goal and attempted pass by Garo Yepremian.
Super Bowl VIII vs. Minnesota Vikings -- The Dolphins won their second successive Super Bowl by defeating the Vikings 24-7 on January 13, 1974 at Rice Stadium in Houston. In a dominant performance, Miami took a 17-0 lead before the Vikings even crossed their 40-yard line and scored all of their 24 points before Minnesota got on the scoreboard. Larry Csonka rushed for a then-Super Bowl record 145 yards and was named as the game’s MVP.
1982 AFC Championship Game vs. New York Jets -- On Jan. 23, 1983 in a rainy Orange Bowl the Dolphins defeated the New York Jets 14-0 to win the AFC championship and advanced to Super Bowl XVII. Miami set an AFC Championship Game record by holding the Jets to 139 total yards and A.J. Duhe set an AFC playoff record with three interceptions of Jets QB Richard Todd, one of which he returned 35 yards for a touchdown.
1993 Regular Season Game vs. Philadelphia Eagles -- On Nov. 14, 1993 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the Dolphins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 19-14. The win was Don Shula’s 325th career victory, surpassing George Halas as the winningest coach in NFL history. Trailing 14-13 in the third quarter, Doug Pederson replaced an injured Scott Mitchell at quarterback and guided the Dolphins to a pair of field goals while the defense held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the game, giving the Dolphins the win.
2008 Regular Season game vs. New York Jets -- On Dec. 28, 2008 in the Meadowlands, the Dolphins defeated the New York Jets 24-17 in the regular season finale to win the AFC East and earn a playoff berth. The victory capped Miami’s 11-5 regular season and a ten-win improvement from their 1-15 mark a year earlier. Chad Pennington threw two touchdown passes against his former team while Miami’s defense intercepted Jets QB Brett Favre three times.
The balloting for the greatest game in Dolphins history was held following the completion of another major event commemorating the team’s 50th anniversary season, the selection of the Dolphins’ 50th Season All-Time Team. That selection process took place in the weeks leading up to the New York Giants-Dolphins game presented by Bergeron Family of Companies on December 14, when the all-time team was honored at halftime of that contest.