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Miami Dolphins (12-2) vs. Minnesota Vikings (12-2) January 13, 1974 Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas, TV: CBS 3:30 p.m. EST
by Wilson of

Pregame Report
The Miami Dolphins had another excellent season in 1973 after going undefeated the year before and winning Superbowl 7. Although they could not repeat their historical unbeaten season, they did manage to make their way back to the big game again. The Dolphins asperations to go undefeated again ended in week two with a 12-7 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Miami faced a much tougher schedule during this season as opposed to their undefeated run the previous year. The Dolphins had to go against playoff caliber teams like the Raiders, Cowboys and Steelers. To finish the season 12-2 was a great accomplishment.

The Dolphins continued their dominance on offense with their rushing attack behind lead rusher fullback Larry Csonka. Csonka finished this season with his third consecuitve 1000-yard rushing effort. Also helping out with running game was Mercury Morris and Jim Kiick who combined for over 1000 yards rushing as well. QB Bob Griese directed the offense and threw for over 1400 yards passing and 17 touchdowns to just 8 INTs and had a QB rating of 84.3 entering the superbowl.

The Vikings also finished this season with a 12-2 mark. Minnesota had a decent running game as well behind NFL Rookie of the Year Chuck Foreman who rushed for over 800 yards and pulled in 37 passes for over 250 yards receiving. Minnesota’s QB was 13 year veteran Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton shined during the regular season by throwing 15 touchdowns, completing 61 percent of his passes, and accumlating over 2100 yards passing. The deep down field threat for the Vikings was Pro Bowl wide receiver John Gilliam, who caught 42 passes for 907 yards and scored 8 TDs.

Both of these teams had stellar defenses with classic knicknanes. The Dolphins defense was dubbed the “No-Name” defense by Tom Landry and the Vikings were known as the “Purple People Eaters” each were effectively solid. Miami’s D was led by Nick Buoniconti, and Minnesota’s was anchored by Alan Page.

Game Summary
The Dolphins came out right away in the first quarter and established the pace of the game by going down the field on 10 plays to score the first touchdown of the game. The drive was capped off when Larry Csonka ran the ball in to the endzone from 5 yards out to make it a 7-0 Miami lead after a Garo Yepremanian PA kick.

After forcing Minnesota to go three and out, the Dolphins went on another 10 play drive which consisted of 56 yards. Csonka rushed for gains of 8, 12, and 8 yards while Griese completed a couple of passes to set up a 1-yard TD run for Miami’s Jim Kiick to make the score 14-0 in favor of the Dolphins. Miami would add a Yepremanian field goal in the second quarter to make it a 17-0 lead going into halftime.

The second half was again, more Dolphins dominance as they pushed the ball down field to set up Larry Csonka’s second rushing Td on the day. Csonka scored on a 2-yard run to make it a 24-0 Miami lead.

The only points on the board for the Vikings came on a 4-yard scamper by QB Fran Tarkenton which made the score 24-7, and that is the way it ended. The Vikings were out played and dominated by the Dolphins for most of the contest.

Point Spread: Miami Dolphins -6.5/Minnesota Vikings +6.5
Over/Under: 33

Final Score: Dolphins 24, Vikings 7

MVP: Larry Csonka

Head Coaches: Don Shula (Miami) and Bud Grant (Minnesota)

National Anthem: Charley Pride

Halftime Show: University of Texas Band

Attendance: 71,882

Cost of a 30-Second Commercial: $103,000

Behind the Scenes Story
The Dolphins appeared to be on the cusp of creating a dynasty for years to come as they were relatively young. However, after Superbowl VIII the Dolphins suffered injuries to Csonka and others on the O-line. Also, the Dolphins defense was effected by the departure of their defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger who left for New York as the Giants head coach.

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