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1994 Miami Dolphins season

1994 Miami Dolphins season
Head coach Don Shula
Home field Joe Robbie Stadium
Record 10–6
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish Lost AFC Divisional Playoff
Previous season      Next season
< 1993      1995 >

The 1994 season was the 29th in Dolphins history. On March 23, the NFL approved the transfer of majority interest in the club from the Robbie family to Wayne Huizenga.[1]



Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result TV Time Attendance
1 September 4, 1994 New England Patriots W 39–35 NBC 4:15pm
2 September 11, 1994 at Green Bay Packers W 24–14 NBC 1:00pm
3 September 18, 1994 New York Jets W 28–14 NBC 1:00pm
4 September 25, 1994 at Minnesota Vikings L 38–35 NBC 1:00pm
5 October 2, 1994 at Cincinnati Bengals W 23–7 TNT 8:15pm
6 October 9, 1994 at Buffalo Bills L 21–11 NBC 1:00pm
7 October 16, 1994 Los Angeles Raiders W 20–17 NBC 1:00pm
8 Bye
9 October 30, 1994 at New England Patriots W 23–3 NBC 4:15pm
10 November 6, 1994 Indianapolis Colts W 22–21 NBC 1:00pm
11 November 13, 1994 Chicago Bears L 17–14 FOX 1:00pm
12 November 20, 1994 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 16–13 NBC 1:00pm
13 November 27, 1994 at New York Jets W 28–24 NBC 4:15pm
14 December 4, 1994 Buffalo Bills L 42–31 ESPN 8:15pm
15 December 12, 1994 Kansas City Chiefs W 45–28 ABC 9:00pm
16 December 18, 1994 at Indianapolis Colts L 10–6 NBC 1:00pm
17 December 25, 1994 Detroit Lions W 27–20 ESPN 8:15pm

Notable Games

Both teams debuted new owners in Wayne Huizenga of the Dolphins and Robert Kraft of the Patriots. The game marked the return of Dan Marino after missing most of 1993 with injury. The new-look Patriots took a 14–10 halftime lead, then Drew Bledsoe lobbed a 40-yard bomb caught by Ben Coates and run in for a 63-yard touchdown. Marino and Bledsoe erupted to eight touchdowns combined, and with the Patriots leading 35–32 Marino on 4th and 5 launched a 35-yard touchdown strike to former Patriot Irving Fryar. The Dolphins held off New England's last-minute rally for the 39–35 win.

Marino's second straight win of the season came as the Dolphins, playing in Milwaukee, raced to two Marino touchdown throws and a 24–0 lead after three quarters. Brett Favre managed two touchdowns but it wasn't enough to hold off a 24–14 Dolphins win.

Marino's third straight win came at The Meadowlands as he threw two touchdowns while three Dolphins backs led by Terry Kirby rushed for 155 yards and touchdowns by Kirby and Bernie Parmalee. Boomer Esiason had two touchdowns but was intercepted four times as the Dolphins won 28-14.

The Dolphins' winning streak came to a halt at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome as Warren Moon lit up the Dolphins defense with three first-half touchdowns and a 28–0 Vikings lead. But the Dolphins began clawing back and in the fourth three Marino touchdowns and Bernie Parmalee's rushing score tied the game. The Vikings then added another touchdown while ex-Dolphin Fuad Reveiz booted a 38-yard field goal, enough cushion to neutralize a late Keith Byars touchdown run and a 38–35 Vikings win.

Persistent wind limited Marino and Jim Kelly to just 342 combined yards, a Marino touchdown to O.J. McDuffie, and a Kelly interception. Five Bills players led by Thurman Thomas rushed for 214 yards and two scores as the Bills beat Miami (21-11) for the 14th time in the two clubs' last 17 meetings.

The Colts entered Joe Robbie Stadium beginning to build some momentum for the future, having won three of their previous five games. The Colts clawed to a 14–6 lead after three quarters but then the Dolphins began storming back on Irving Spikes' touchdown run marred by a missed two-point conversion. The Dolphins got the ball back but Marino was picked off by Ray Buchanan and he ran in a 28-yard touchdown, but despite this setback Marino whipped the Dolphins downfield and fired a 28-yard score to O.J. McDuffie, then the Dolphins got the ball back and Pete Stoyanovich's field goal finished off the 22–21 win from 34 yards out.

Following back-to-back losses the Dolphins appeared shellshocked as the Jets raced to a 17–0 lead. A Marino touchdown to Mark Ingram in the third was followed by Norman Esiason's second touchdown of the game to Johnny Mitchell. But in the fourth everything changed; after a second Marino-to-Ingram score Esiason was intercepted and this led to a third Marino-to-Ingram touchdown; a series of fumbles led to another Esiason pick by J.B. Brown, and with no timeouts left the Dolphins had the ball with 2:34 left. Marino drove the Dolphins to the Jets eight-yard line; at this point Marino called out "Clock! Clock! Clock!" in anticipation of spiking the ball to stop the clock – Marino, however, had worked out a trick play and was paying attention to Ingram's matchup with rookie Jets cornerback Aaron Glenn; with Ingram understanding Marino's code signal and Marino seeing a favorable matchup, Marino took the snap and motioned downward as though spiking the ball, but then lofted it toward Ingram running to the back corner of the endzone where he caught it, the fourth touchdown of the game. The stunned Jets faltered on their final drive and The Clock Play became one of the most famous and bizarre finishes in NFL history.

Despite the stunning win the 8–4 Dolphins were facing a division race where the Bills, entering at 6–6, were still in contention and the Patriots were on a late-season roll. The Dolphins raced to a 17–7 lead on the Bills but Marino was intercepted three times and the Bills scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, then answered a fourth-quarter Marino score to Keith Jackson with Carwell Gardner's rushing score and an 83-yard bomb from Jim Kelly to Andre Reed. With the outcome beyond saving Marino was benched and Bernie Kosar tossed a one-yard score to Scott Miller, but there was no saving a 42–31 Bills win.

Dan Marino faced a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, but it wasn't regular Chiefs starter Joe Montana, sidelined after a 10–9 loss to Seattle a few weeks before; instead it was Joe Cool's former backup Steve Bono, but regardless of starter the Dolphins, now 8–5 and the division race not secure yet, played like they needed the win. The Chiefs took a 14–7 lead but Marino tied it at the half on a four-yard strike to Irving Fryar, then in the third ran in a four-yard score himself. On the next Dolphins drive Troy Vincent caught a lateral and ran in a 56-yard touchdown; Jon Vaughn of the Chiefs then ran in the ensuing kickoff for a Chiefs touchdown. 28–21 was the closest the Chiefs came as the Dolphins scored 17 more points to win 45–28.

The Dolphins celebrated Christmas by clinching the AFC East title. Bernie Parmalee ran wild as he scored three touchdowns and the Dolphins led 27–10 at the half. Two second-half Lions scores could not stop a 27–20 Dolphins win, finishing a 10–6 Dolphins record.


AFC East
Miami Dolphins 10 6 0 .625 389 327 W1
New England Patriots 10 6 0 .625 351 312 W7
Indianapolis Colts 8 8 0 .500 307 320 W2
Buffalo Bills 7 9 0 .438 340 356 L3
New York Jets 6 10 0 .375 264 320 L5


Week Date Opponent Result
Wildcard December 31, 1994 Kansas City Chiefs W 27–17
Division January 8, 1995 at San Diego Chargers L 22–21

AFC Wild Card

Miami Dolphins 27, Kansas City Chiefs 17
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 14 3 0017
Dolphins 7 10 10027

at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida

After a 17–17 tie at halftime, the Dolphins forced two turnovers in the second half to stop any Chiefs scoring threat. Both teams scored on each of their first 3 possessions of the game. Kansas City quarterback Joe Montana, playing in his last NFL game before retiring, threw two touchdowns in the first half: a 1-yard completion to tight end Derrick Walker and a 57-yarder to running back Kimble Anders. Meanwhile, Kansas City kicker Lin Elliot made a 21-yard field goal. For Miami in the first half, running back Bernie Parmalee scored a 1-yard touchdown, quarterback Dan Marino threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ronnie Williams, and kicker Pete Stoyanovich made a 40-yard field goal.

The Dolphins then took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 64 yards to score on wide receiver Irving Fryar's 7-yard touchdown reception. Stoyanovich then kicked a 40-yard field goal to give Miami a 27–17 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Dolphins defensive back J.B. Brown intercepted a pass from Montana at the goal line. Then with 7:31 left in the game, Dolphins defensive back Michael Stewart wrestled the ball away from Chiefs running back Marcus Allen at the Miami 34-yard line with 7:31 left to stop a second Kansas City scoring threat.

Montana finished his final postseason game with 314 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, with 1 interception.

Marino evened his post-season record vs. Montana at 1–1 (Montana having won Super Bowl XIX).

AFC Divisional Playoff

Miami Dolphins 21, San Diego Chargers 22
1 2 34Total
Dolphins 7 14 0021
Chargers 0 6 9722

The Dolphins raced to a 21-6 lead at the end of the first half as Marino threw three touchdowns sandwiched around two John Carney field goals for the Chargers, but the game began turning in the third when Bernie Parmalee was brought down in the Miami endzone by Chargers defensive tackle Reuben Davis for a safety. Natrone Means rushed for 139 yards and a 24-yard touchdown as the Dolphins offense was shut out in the second half. Stan Humphries threw for 276 yards and despite two interceptions managed a touchdown throw to Mark Seay in the fourth quarter. Marino led Miami to San Diego's 30-yard line as time ran down, but Pete Stoyanovich badly missed on a 47-yard attempt and ended Miami's chance for victory. The 22-21 San Diego win came thirteen years and six days after The Epic In Miami and ended Dan Marino's strong comeback season after he'd missed most of 1993 with a torn Achilles' tendon.

Awards and honors

Notes and references

  • Miami Dolphins on Pro Football Reference
  • Miami Dolphins on

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