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Published On: Tue, Jan 14th, 2014

This Day in History: Miami Dolphins completes perfect season with Super Bowl win in 1973

The Dolphins defeated the Redskins by the score of 14–7, and became the first and still the only team in NFL history to complete a perfect undefeated season. Super Bowl VII was played on January 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

Jake Scott interception return Super Bowl VIIAfter losing in the Super Bowl VI to the Dallas Cowboys, the 1972 Dolphins won every game, posting a 14-0 regular season record.

In the fifth game of the regular season, starter Bob Griese suffered a fractured right leg and dislocated ankle. In his place, 38-year-old Earl Morrall led Miami to victory in their nine remaining regular season games, and was the 1972 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

Morrall led the Dolphins to a 20–14 playoff win over the Cleveland Browns. However, Griese started the second half of the AFC Championship Game to help rally the Dolphins to a 21–17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dolphins safety Jake Scott was named Most Valuable Player. He recorded two interceptions for 63 return yards, including a 55-yard return from the end zone during the 4th quarter. Scott became the second defensive player in Super Bowl history to earn a Super Bowl MVP.

ESPN listed the squad as the second greatest team of all-time (behind the 1985 Chicago Bears) giving them credit, but then being critical.

“Dolphins played one of the easiest schedules in modern NFL history — the opposition had a combined winning percentage under .400. Unlike the 1985 Bears, the Dolphins didn’t stroll through the playoffs. They beat the Steelers in the AFC title game by only four points, 21-17, and were underdogs going into the Super Bowl against the Redskins, who they defeated 14-7. Undefeated underdogs? That means you’re not beaten, but you are beatable. We salute the greatness of head coach Don Shula, QB Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick, Garo Yepremian, et al. But the Bears would have beaten them in a head-to-head match-up.”

FOX Sports counters the argument, playing team third on their Best Super Bowl teams of all-time.

“Only one team pops champagne each year to celebrate the last NFL unbeaten losing its first game — the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Whether or not it bugs you, it’s still impressive to go undefeated and untied for an entire regular season and playoffs. Some critics “poo-poo” the accomplishment, using today’s “strength of schedule” standards since those Dolphins played only two regular season games against teams with winning records (Chiefs and Giants, both 8-6). What they failed to mention: Miami beat the 10-4 Browns and 11-3 Steelers in the playoffs before taking apart the 11-3 Redskins in the Super Bowl.”

Points well made.

Photo: screenshot from this video coverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13M60-wb57o

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