NOTEBOOK: Dolphins 3-0 For First Time Since 2002; Other Notes

Posted Sep 22, 2013

Miami has now scored 20 or more points in the first three games of the season.

When people talk about the Miami Dolphins as a franchise it’s the Perfect Season of 1972 that always comes up first, so for the team to be unbeaten at any point of a season is special. Today’s exciting win over Atlanta has the Dolphins sitting at 3-0 for the first time since 2002.

By scoring 27 points in the victory in front of a thrilled home crowd at Sun Life Stadium, Miami has now scored 20 or more points in the first three games of a season since that same 2002 season.

“I’m excited about being 3-0,” said veteran long snapper John Denney, who is the longest tenured Dolphin in his ninth season with the team. “That hasn’t happened a whole lot in my career and I’m excited the way the team’s headed.”

Turning Point

Trailing 20-13 late in the third quarter and having its previous drive ended with an interception, Miami looked like it was heading towards its first loss. It looked bleaker after the defense forced a three-and-out only to have the offense move backwards and be forced to punt from its own 25 to give the ball back to the Falcons offense.

Brandon Fields launched a 53-yard punt that bounced high and Atlanta’s Harry Douglas opted to field it on the bounce and try to run it back. Rookie cornerback Don Jones drilled him, jarring the ball loose and long snapper John Denney recovered it at the bottom of the pile to set up quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the offense at the Falcons’ 19. Three plays later, Tannehill found wide receiver Brian Hartline in the left corner of the end zone for an 18-yard score to tie the game at 20-20.

Denney Makes History

Long snapper John Denney moved into sole possession of the franchise record for most consecutive games played at 131 when he took the field for the first punt of the game. He was tied with Jason Taylor.

“It’s always nice but I’m more excited about the win right now,” Denney said.

Statistical Milestones

Running back Lamar Miller’s 49-yard run was a career long for the second-year running back out of the University of Miami. … Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis joined Uwe von Schamann as the only rookie kickers in Dolphins history to have two field goals of 50 or more yards in a season. Von Schamann booted kicks of 53 yards (October 21st, 1979 at New England) and 51 yards (November 5th, 1979 vs. Houston). … Wide receiver Brian Hartline’s touchdown reception in the third quarter was the second scoring catch of the season for the fifth-year pro. It ties for the second most touchdown receptions of his career. Hartline’s career high for touchdown receptions in a season is three, which he accomplished during his rookie season in 2009. ... Second-year tight end Michael Egnew caught his first career pass on the final drive of the game, an 8-yard gain across midfield. … Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe recorded 10 or more tackles for the second consecutive games with his 10 tackles today after notching 14 last week at Indianapolis. … Head Coach Joe Philbin is a perfect 3-for-3 on coach’s challenges this season.

Last Word

“We’ve got a damn good football team, that’s what it tells me and that’s what it’s all about.” – owner Steve Ross when asked what being 3-0 tells him


Miami travels to New Orleans for a primetime game next Monday against the Saints at the Mercedes Dome with an 8:40 p.m. kickoff.

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