|1985 Miami Dolphins season|
|Head coach||Don Shula|
|General manager||Mike Robbie|
|Home field||Miami Orange Bowl|
|Division place||1st AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won AFC Divisional Playoff (Browns) 24–21|
Lost AFC Championship Game (Patriots) 14–31
Due to Dan Marino's offseason holdout, and an injury to receiver Mark Duper, the Dolphins were only 5–4 through Week 9, and in third place in the AFC East, behind the 7–2 Jets and 6–3 Patriots. Their 220 points scored through Week 9 were fifth in the league, and 85 points fewer – 9.4 per game – than in 1984 at the same point in the season.
The Dolphins righted the ship, however, and won their final seven games, including a stunning upset of the then-undefeated Chicago Bears in a Week 13 Monday Night contest. Miami won the division and defeated the AFC Central champion Cleveland Browns 24–21 in their first playoff game. Their season would end, however, with a 31–14 home loss to division rival New England in the AFC Championship Game.
|4||91||Mike Smith||DB||Texas-El Paso|
|8||223||Dan Sharp||TE||Texas Christian|
|9||251||Adam Hinds||DB||Oklahoma State|
|1||September 8, 1985||at Houston Oilers||L 23–26|
|2||September 15, 1985||Indianapolis Colts||W 30–13|
|3||September 22, 1985||Kansas City Chiefs||W 31–0|
|4||September 29, 1985||at Denver Broncos||W 30–26|
|5||October 6, 1985||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 24–20|
|6||October 14, 1985||at New York Jets||L 7–23|
|7||October 20, 1985||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 41–38|
|8||October 27, 1985||at Detroit Lions||L 21–31|
|9||November 3, 1985||at New England Patriots||L 13–17|
|10||November 10, 1985||New York Jets||W 21–17|
|11||November 17, 1985||at Indianapolis Colts||W 34–20|
|12||November 24, 1985||at Buffalo Bills||W 23–14|
|13||December 2, 1985||Chicago Bears||W 38–24|
|14||December 8, 1985||at Green Bay Packers||W 34–24|
|15||December 16, 1985||New England Patriots||W 30–27|
|16||December 22, 1985||Buffalo Bills||W 28–0|
- Date: December 2
- Game time: 9:00 p.m. EST
- Game weather: 76°F • Wind 8
- Referee: Gordon McCarter
- TV announcers (ABC): Frank Gifford, Joe Namath, OJ Simpson
Miami finished 12–4 in 1985 and, in an epic Monday Night Football showdown on December 2, 1985, handed the previously-undefeated Chicago Bears their only defeat of the season. Several members of the 1972 Dolphins were in attendance at the game.
After rallying from a 21–3 third quarter deficit in the divisional playoffs to beat the Cleveland Browns 24–21, many people were looking forward to a rematch with Chicago in Super Bowl XX. The Cinderella New England Patriots, the Dolphins' opponents in the AFC Championship, had different plans. New England forced six turnovers on the way to a 31–14 win – the Patriots' first in Miami since 1966. The Patriots had lost 18 games in a row at the Orange Bowl. In 1969, the Boston Patriots had beaten the Dolphins at Tampa Stadium.
|New York Jets(4)||11||5||0||.688||6–2||9–3||393||264||W1|
|New England Patriots(5)||11||5||0||.688||6–2||8–4||362||290||W1|
AFC Divisional Playoff
AFC Championship Game
In an upset, the Patriots converted 6 Dolphins turnovers into 24 points.
Awards and honors
- Dan Marino, 1985 1st Team All-Pro and AFC Pro Bowl selection
- Mark Duper, franchise record, most receiving yards in one game, 217 yards on November 10.
Notes and references
- Numbelivable!, p.105, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
- Pro-Football-Reference: In a single season, in 1985, in the regular season, from team's 1st game to 9th game, sorted by descending Points For
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, in 1984, in the regular season, from team's 1st game to 9th game, sorted by descending Points For
- Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p.506, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 60