Dec 18 in Sports History: Dolphins go undefeated


In 1972: With a 16-0 shutout of the Baltimore Colts, the Miami Dolphins (14-0) clinched the first-ever undefeated, untied regular season in NFL history. The ’72 Dolphins are not considered by many to be the most dominant team in history, although they did lead the league in scoring (385 pts) and gave up the fewest (171) behind the “No-Name Defense.” They won despite the fact that starting quarterback Bob Griese went down in the fifth game with an injury and did not return until the AFC Championship game. Earl Morrall, who was 38 years old by then, quietly took the reins and led the league in passing efficiency. Running backs Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris became the first teammates to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Of course, the Dolphins won three straight in the postseason to finish 17-0; and now it’s just annoying when they annually pop the champagne when the last undefeated team in the NFL loses a game.

In 1973: Exactly 21 years, six months and 12 days before his ex-wife and her friend were found murdered, OJ Simpson ran a sweep left against the New York Jets for a short gain. That run on the cold, muddy Shea Stadium turf helped Simpson become the first ever NFL player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. He finished with 2,003 yards, won the league MVP and led the usually moribund Buffalo Bills to a winning record and almost a playoff berth. Other than that, nothing else ever happened in Simpson’s life and he plays golf all the time now.

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