Superbowl 7 Review: The Perfect Season
Miami Dolphins (17-0) vs. Washington Redskins (13-4) January 15, 1973, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 90,182 TV: NBC 3:30 p.m. EST
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The Miami Dolphins entered this season with a deep desire to return to the pinnacle of NFL games which of course was a return trip to the superbowl. Miami had suffered a demoralizing loss the year before to the Dallas Cowboys and now they were looking to redeem themselves by capturing the league’s most ptestigious prize. Dolphin’s head coach Don Shula was in his third season with Miami and was already making his second superbowl appearance.
Miami’s starting quarterback, Bob Griese, suffered a fractured leg and a dislocated ankle early in the season which opened the door for back-up QB Earl Morrall. Morrall played for Greise in Baltimore as a back-up for Johnny Unitas where he started Superbowl 3 when Unitas was injured. The Dolphins went 9-0 with Morrall leading the charge. Griese was knocked out in game but they were 5-0 then and now they found themselves looking to be the first team ever to go undefeated for an entire NFL season. The big decision for Shula was who would get the start at QB in the big game? Shula decided to go with a recovered Bob Griese.
The Redskins were led by 33 year old QB Billy Kilmer who tossed 19 touchdowns and completed 120 of 225 pass attempts for 1,600 yards during the regular season. Washington’s head coach was George Allen, who lived by the theory that age and experience was what won football games. As soon as Allen took over for the Skins he traded away most of the young players in favor of older more established veterans. Allen’s motto was “The future is now.” The motto apparently worked as the Skins turned things around and made it to the SB.
The Dolphins beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-17 in the AFC Championship Game to reach the superbowl while the Redskins shut down the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game 26-3 to advance.
All of Miami’s points would come in the first half of this superbowl game. In the first quarter Griese connected on a 28-yard TD pass to Howard Twilley to go ahead 7-0 heading into the second quarter. Running back Jim Kiick scored the second and final touchdown for the Dolphins to take a 14-0 lead into halftime.
This game set the record for least amount of points scored (3 TD’s & 3PATs). The Redskins were literally shut down all day by the Dolphins defense until the fourth quarter with just over 2 minutes remaining. Mike Bass returned a blocked field goal for the Skins to avoid the shutout.
The Redskins had a chance to perhaps attempt an onside kick but decided to kick the ball down the field instead. With just over one minute remaining the Dolphins defense stopped the drive and finished the last play by sacking the Skins QB.
Final Score: Miami Dolphins 14 Washington Redskins 7
Point Spread: Miami -1/Washington +1
Game MVP: Jake Scott, Safety (2nd defensive player to receive award)
Head Coaches: Don Shula (Miami Dolphins) George Allen (Washington Redskins)
Halftime Show: Woody Herman and the Michigam Marching Band
National Anthem: Little Angels of Holy Angels Church, Chicago
Cost of a 30-Second Commercial: $88,000
Behind the Scenes Story
Garo Yepremanian, the Dolphins place kicker who missed a field goal that may have cost them their perfect season and a superbowl victory, was approached right after on the sideline by teammate Manny Fernandez, who said to Garo “You son-of-a-bitch, we lose this game, I’m gonna f*#king kill you.” Yepremanian was so upset about the situation that he went into a depression. Later on, he was able to overcome his depression by speaking publicly about his trials and successess.
Also, when Don Shulas was being carried off the field a young boy ran by and stripped his watch off of his wrist. Shula jumped down from the hands of players carrying him and ran the boy down and then got his watch back. The poor kid was probably just looking for a souvenir (laughs).
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