There has been many a great and legendary teams throughout the history of the NFL but only one has the great distinction of having a “perfect season”, and that is the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Here I will take a look at that historic season and the players and coaches that helped them to win it.
Throughout the season, the team relied on a fantastic offense to overwhelm their opponents who couldn’t keep up. But the season wasn’t without struggle as not only did the team almost lose a few of the games, they had a huge injury that almost derailed their season. Their starting quarterback (Bob Griese) broke his ankle in week 5 due to a sack, and this forced Earl Morrall to take reigns for the rest of the regular season. In the playoffs, both men saw action and both were a huge reason the team won the Super Bowl. Their running game was also a huge reason why they achieved so much success as Mercury Morris and Larry Czonka became the first ever running back duo to both rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Their O-line also consisted of two future Hall of Famers and a Pro Bowler. While their defense was sufficient, it was named the “no name defense” by some individuals as it didn’t feature the star power that they had on the offensive side of the ball.
And while no one can argue a 17-0 Super Bowl winning season is really impressive, there are still those out there who try and discredit the season and say it is not that impressive. One of their prime arguments against the legitimacy of this season is that the Dolphins had an excessively soft schedule. While that is somewhat true (as only two of their opponents had winning records that year), other good teams in the era had similarly easy schedules, but couldn’t achieve the feat of being undefeated. They were also the beneficiaries of a pretty terrible division that year, but again, they shouldn’t be faulted for that.
But no matter what people say, the season wasn’t a fluke or an anomaly as the Dolphins were among the best teams each and every year in the 1970s and the team was pretty consistent from year to year without any major additions or departures. In fact, the team had a record of 64-14-1 from 1970 through 1974, which is evidence they were an amazing team. This 1972 Super Bowl was also during only their third season in the NFL after coming over from the AFL.
Also, the team made headlines again in 2013 as President Barack Obama invited the 1972 Dolphins to the White House for a visit as they never got their visit to the White House back in 1972 because it wasn’t a common and yearly occurrence like it is now.
Whether you love them or hate them, there is no denying that the 1972 Dolphins led by legendary coach Don Shula accomplished one of the greatest feats in sports history with their undefeated season.