Five snapshots from the Dolphins-Chargers series, focusing on games in Miami...
Jan. 2, 1982
It’s impossible to discuss the Dolphins-Chargers series without bringing up the AFC divisional playoff game at the Orange Bowl in the 1981 season. Though the Dolphins ended up losing in overtime, they mounted an incredible comeback from a 24-0 first-quarter deficit and actually led 38-31 before the Chargers tied it up. The game, which featured epic passing performances by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts and Dolphins backup Don Strock, has often been mentioned as perhaps the greatest in NFL history. The Dolphins’ “hook-and-lateral” play at the end of the first half came in at No. 43 on the NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 plays in NFL history. The Dolphins got a measure of revenge the following season when they beat the Chargers, 34-13, in the AFC playoffs.
Jan. 10, 1993
It was raining in Miami on this late Sunday afternoon, but the Dolphins overcame the elements with the most dominant playoff performance in franchise history. Three Dan Marino touchdown passes in the second quarter gave the Dolphins a 21-0 halftime lead and they cruised to a 31-0 victory. The defense picked off San Diego quarterback Stan Humphries four times, with cornerback Troy Vincent coming up with two of the interceptions.
Oct. 5, 2008
A victory at New England when the Dolphins unveiled their Wildcat formation is what a lot of fans remember about the 2008 season, but their next game also was impressive. After a bye in Week 4, the Dolphins’ first game after their 38-13 victory at New England was a home affair against the Chargers. The Dolphins won 17-10 that day and perhaps the most impressive part of the victory was their ability to use their running game to kill off the final 5:55 while holding a seven-point lead. That final 14-play drive included four first downs, nine runs, two kneel-downs and only three passes. Early in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins preserved that 17-10 lead with a stop of LaDainian Tomlinson on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
Nov. 17, 2013
This game featured a spectacular 39-yard touchdown by tight end Charles Clay, who refused to be tackled after catching a pass from Ryan Tannehill, and some clutch work by the defense. With the Dolphins nursing a 20-16 lead, the Chargers threatened on their final two possessions but Olivier Vernon stopped one drive with a third-down sack and the last drive of the game ended with two Philip Rivers incompletions from the Miami 25-yard line.
Nov. 2, 2014
The Dolphins’ most lopsided victory of the past 20 years and their most lopsided shutout victory since 1987 came at what was then known as Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins scored on seven of their first nine possessions on their way to a 37-0 victory that gave them a 5-3 record at the halfway point of the season. After the Dolphins stopped San Diego on a fourth-and-1 from the Miami 22 on the opening drive, the Chargers didn’t take another offensive snap beyond their 38-yard line. It’s the only time Philip Rivers has been shut out in his career. The Dolphins out-gained the Chargers 441-178. The defense came up with four takeaways and four sacks.