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Dolphins Honor '72 Team With Win Over Jags

Posted Dec 16, 2012

Presence of legends again leads to victorious results.

Every five years the surviving members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins reunite in South Florida to celebrate the only undefeated team in NFL history, and the 2012 Dolphins kept the winning tradition alive this afternoon at Sun Life Stadium.

Miami routed the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-3, to make it three consecutive victories on the weekend that ’72 team has been honored. Back in 2007 on the 35th anniversary, the Dolphins beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime, 22-16, for their only win of the season and on the 30th anniversary in 2002 they beat the Oakland Raiders, 23-17.

“It was good to see those guys out there today and I think it was even more special for us to get that win today while we were honoring that ’72 team,” said running back Reggie Bush, who finished with 104 yards on 21 carries. “I went up before the game and introduced myself to Larry Csonka. I never got a chance to meet him and obviously he’s a legend with the Miami Dolphins so I just went up and introduced myself to him and told him, ‘Congratulations,’ and thanks for everything they did and paving the ways for guys like me.”

Forty years ago it was the defense that drove the team that season behind defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger and the likes of Hall-of-Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti, defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, defensive ends Bill Stanfill and Vern Den Herder, safeties Dick Anderson and Jake Scott and cornerbacks Tim Foley and Lloyd Mumphord. So to see this defense stop the Jaguars three times on fourth down in the red zone made them proud.

The biggest fourth-down stop came in the second quarter after Tannehill lost a fumble and Jacksonville recovered at the Miami 20. Linebacker Karlos Dansby stopped Jaguars quarterback on fourth-and-1 at the 11 and Tannehill took the offense 89 yards on 14 plays to put his team ahead by seven points at the half, 10-3.

“That’s something we’ve been trying to get going is complimentary football,” defensive end Cameron Wake said. “If the offense gets in a tough situation, we have to have their backs. Whether it’s on the 2 or the 20, we have to keep them out of the end zone and play team football. That’s how we win.”

Dansby wasn’t at all surprised about how his defense played in those critical situations and chalked up their success to preparation.

“We just played technically sound, smart football,” said Dansby, who finished with six tackles (all solo) and one pass breakup. “We knew what their fourth-down plays were, fullback dive and quarterback sneak. They got us in a situation where they hustled onto the field to line up real fast and run the quarterback sneak. We just came up, stuffed it and that comes from watching film and trusting the guys around you.”

Head Coach Joe Philbin applauded the defense, especially how it played at the very end when it looked like the Jaguars were going to go in for a late touchdown.

“I think on a couple of run plays there was good penetration, obviously, the guys held their gap and we were able to get off the field there,” he said. “Even at the end of the game, they certainly had the opportunity to score and get in the end zone and we held them there as well.”

The Dolphins improved to 6-8 with one more game remaining next week against the Buffalo Bills and still remain in the playoff hunt.

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