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Dolphins Deliver On Christmas Day

Posted Dec 25, 2012

The Dolphins have played three exciting games on Christmas Day.

1971 at Kansas City (27-24 win in AFC Playoff Game) - Garo Yepremian ended 82 minutes and 40 seconds of an epic struggle by booting a 37-yard field goal with 7:40 elapsed in the second overtime, lifting the Dolphins past Kansas City, 27-24. The Dolphins battled from behind three times to tie the AFC West champions, the third time on Bob Griese’s five-yard pass to tight end Marv Fleming with 96 seconds remaining in regulation. Kansas City running back Ed Podolak, who amassed 350 yards of all-purpose running, returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards to the Dolphin 22 where Curtis Johnson missed a desperation tackle. With 35 seconds on the clock, Jan Stenerud missed a 32-yard field-goal try. Stenerud had a 42-yarder blocked by Nick Buoniconti in the fifth quarter, and Yepremian was short with a 45-yard effort. But Larry Csonka crashed 29 yards to the Chiefs 36, and that put Yepremian, the NFL’s scoring leader, in position to win it. Goal posts were on the goal line; in 1974 the uprights were moved to the end line.

1994 vs. Detroit (27-20 win) - The Dolphins earned a 27-20 win over the Detroit Lions and clinched the AFC East title. Running back Bernie Parmalee was the hero for the Dolphins that night as he scored three rushing touchdowns and also had a 20-yard catch that helped the Dolphins run out the clock. Also, Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula won the 319th regular season game of his coaching career and surpassed George Halas (318 regular season coaching wins) for the all-time record for most career regular season wins by an NFL coach.

2006 vs. N.Y. Jets (13-10 loss) - The Dolphins played their final home game of the year on a rainy Monday Night in an AFC East fight with the New York Jets. After a scoreless first half, backup quarterback Cleo Lemon came in to begin the second half, replacing starting quarterback Joey Harrington. In the third quarter, New York broke first with kicker Mike Nugent getting a 22-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Miami finally went on the attack with Lemon completing a 7-yard TD pass to tight end Randy McMichael. However, the Jets responded with quarterback Chad Pennington completing a 32-yard TD pass to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. Even though the Dolphins managed to tie the game with kicker Olindo Mare's 25-yard field goal, New York scored the winning points when Nugent nailed the game-winning 30-yard field goal with ten seconds left.

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