2008 Miami Dolphins season

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2008 Miami Dolphins season
Head coach Tony Sparano
General manager Jeff Ireland
Home field Dolphin Stadium
Results
Record 11–5
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Ravens) 27–9
Pro Bowlers 3
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 2007 2009 >
Miami at the Kansas City Chiefs, December 21, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium

The 2008 Miami Dolphins season was the organization's 39th season in the National Football League and 43rd overall.[1] During the regular season the Dolphins completed the greatest single-season turnaround in NFL history,[2][3] going from a 1–15 regular season record in 2007 to an 11–5 record in 2008. The previous standard for improvement one year after a 1–15 season belonged to the 1992 Indianapolis Colts, who went 9–7. The 1999 Indianapolis Colts were the only other team to accomplish a 10-game turnaround, winning 13 games after winning 3 in 1998. Additionally, Miami won the AFC East, becoming the first team in NFL history to win their division after only having one win the previous season.

The 2008 season was the first with Bill Parcells as Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Jeff Ireland as General Manager,[4][5] and Tony Sparano as head coach.[6][7]

With a league-worst 1–15 record in 2007,[8] the Dolphins held the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and selected Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long. The offseason also saw the departure of two Pro Bowlers and long-time Dolphins with the release of linebacker Zach Thomas and trade of defensive end Jason Taylor.

Offseason personnel moves[edit]

Front office[edit]

On December 27, 2007, Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga hired former NFL head coach and ESPN analyst Bill Parcells as Executive Vice President of Football Operations.[4] Parcells signed a four-year deal with the Dolphins less than a day after turning down a similar offer from the Atlanta Falcons.[9]

Just a few days after Parcells' hiring, three men were dismissed from the Dolphins' front office.[10] The most notable of which was general manager Randy Mueller, who was hired by the team in 2005.[11] Also dismissed were Assistant Director of Player Personnel Mike Baugh and College Scouting Coordinator Rick Thompson.[10]

Three days after Mueller's dismissal, Parcells hired Jeff Ireland as the team's new general manager.[5] Ireland had worked for the Dallas Cowboys the past seven years, including the last three as Vice President of College and Pro Scouting.[5] Ireland had worked with Parcells previously, when the latter was head coach of the Cowboys from 2003 to 2006.[5] Although Ireland was officially given final say on personnel decisions, it was speculated that Parcells was actually in control, and did not hold the title of General Manager so that the team may hire a front office executive from another team.[12]

On January 15, the Dolphins reeled in another former Cowboys executive when they hired Brian Gaine as Assistant Director of Player Personnel.[13] Gaine had previously spent the past three seasons as the Cowboys' Assistant Director of Pro Scouting, working with both Parcells and Ireland during that time.[13]

Following the 2008 NFL Draft, it was reported on May 1 that the Dolphins had fired scouts Ellis Rainsberger, Jack Glowik and Roger Pollard.[14] The team's vice president of media relations, Harvey Greene, said Rainsberger had retired and did not comment on the other two reported firings.[14]

Coaches[edit]

Head coach[edit]

Just one day after hiring of Jeff Ireland as general manager, the Dolphins fired head coach Cam Cameron after just one season on the job.[6] Cameron led the Dolphins to an NFL worst 1–15 record in 2007, which was also the worst in franchise history.[15][16] Additionally, all but two members of the coaching staff were dismissed.[6] The only coaches retained were assistant special teams coach Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach George Edwards.[6] Both Hoffman and Edwards were coaches for the Dallas Cowboys during Ireland's tenure with the team.[5][17][18]

A search for Cameron's replacement began almost immediately after his firing.[19] Various candidates were rumored, many of which had some connection to Parcells and/or Ireland.[20] Rumored candidates included Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, Dallas Cowboys assistant Tony Sparano, Cowboys secondary coach Todd Bowles, Arizona Cardinals running backs coach Maurice Carthon and Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley.[20] Additionally, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier were contacted.[21][22] The Washington Post suggested that Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could be a candidate as well.[23]

The first interview scheduled was Sparano, who met with the Dolphins on Saturday, January 11.[24] Sparano had previously met with the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens regarding their head coaching vacancies.[25] On January 6, it was reported that Sparano would be offered the Dolphins' head coaching job, and that he would accept.[25] The Dolphins denied the report later that day, saying it was an initial interview only and that the team had interviews with others planned over the next few days.[26] However, the addition of quarterbacks coach David Lee, a former Cowboys assistant, fueled speculation that Sparano was indeed going to the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins.[27][28]

The team then proceeded to interview Frazier, Ryan and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.[29][30] After the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Giants in the divisional round of the 2007 NFL playoffs on January 13,[31] speculation grew that Sparano's hiring was imminent.[32][33] On January 16, the Dolphins ended their search by naming Sparano the eighth head coach in franchise history.[7] He received a four-year contract believed to be worth between $2.5 and $2.7 million per season.[34]

Assistants[edit]

Parcells and Ireland made their first coaching staff addition on January 7, luring Ole Miss offensive coordinator David Lee to be quarterbacks coach.[27] Lee, who briefly followed Houston Nutt to Ole Miss after serving as his offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 2007, worked with Parcells and Ireland as the Cowboys' quarterbacks coach from 2003 to 2006.[27] The addition fueled speculation that Sparano was indeed going to the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins.[27][28]

Two days after hiring Sparano as their head coach, the Dolphins made their second assistance coach hiring. On January 18, Mike Maser was named the team's new offensive line coach. Maser had previously served in the same capacity for the Carolina Panthers from 2003 to 2006, and worked with Sparano when both were assistants for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002.

Over the next week, the Dolphins filled various positions on Sparano's staff. On January 22, former Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach James Saxon was hired in the same capacity for the Dolphins.[35] Also hired that day was former Atlanta Falcons strength and conditioning coach Evan Marcus, who took the same job with Miami.[35]

On January 23, the Dolphins added four more assistant coaches to their staff when they named Paul Pasqualoni as their defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles as assistant head coach/secondary, Kacy Rodgers as defensive line coach and David Corrao as defensive quality control coach.[36] Pasqualoni, Bowles and Rodgers all came from the Dallas Cowboys' staff, while Corrao was most recently linebackers coach at the University of Mississippi.[36]

A day later, former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell was named the team's new wide receivers coach.[37] Five more coaches were added to the staff on January 28 when the Dolphins named John Bonamego as their special teams coordinator, George DeLeone as their tight ends coach, David Puloka as assistant strength and conditioning coach, Jim Reid as outside linebackers coach and Steve Bush as offensive quality control coach.[38]

The Dolphins made their final addition to the staff on February 4, hiring Dan Henning as offensive coordinator.[39] Henning, who had most recently served as offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers from 2002 to 2006, had previous worked for the Dolphins under Don Shula as quarterbacks and wide receivers coach in 1979–1980.[39]

Final staff[edit]

When the Dolphins' coaching staff was completed with the hiring of offensive coordinator Dan Henning on February 14, only two of the 17 assistant coaches under Sparano (Edwards and Hoffman) were holdovers from the previous season's staff.[40] Three of the new coaches (Bowles, Pasqualoni and Rodgers) had experience with Parcells, Ireland and Sparano in Dallas.[40] The completed staff was as follows:

2008 Miami Dolphins staff
Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

Players[edit]

Departures[edit]

Re-signings[edit]

Signings[edit]

Trades[edit]

Free agency[edit]

The Dolphins entered free agency $44 million under that year's $116 million salary cap – the highest in the league at the time.[73] The team cleared between $13–15 million by cutting players leading up to free agency.[73]

Free agents[edit]

UFA: Unrestricted free agent, RFA: Restricted free agent, ERFA: Exclusive-rights free agent

Position Player Free agency
status
Date signed 2008 team
SS Yeremiah Bell UFA March 3[49] Miami Dolphins
WR Greg Camarillo ERFA March 19[74] Miami Dolphins
RB Jesse Chatman UFA March 9[75] New York Jets
RB Patrick Cobbs ERFA March 19[74] Miami Dolphins
RB Samkon Gado RFA (not tendered) November 4[76] St. Louis Rams
OG Rex Hadnot UFA March 10[77] Cleveland Browns
CB Michael Lehan UFA March 5[50] Miami Dolphins
OL Cory Lekkerkerker RFA (not tendered) May 14[78] Dallas Cowboys
QB Cleo Lemon UFA February 29[79] Jacksonville Jaguars
OG Gene Mruczkowski UFA June 6[80] New England Patriots
OG Ike Ndukwe ERFA March 19[74] Miami Dolphins
DL Chase Page ERFA (not tendered)
LB Derrick Pope UFA March 14[81] Minnesota Vikings
OT Mike Rosenthal UFA
FS Lance Schulters UFA August 18[82] New Orleans Saints
LB Donnie Spragan UFA August 2[83] Buffalo Bills
= Retained by Dolphins

2008 NFL Draft[edit]

Jake Long, the 1st overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft

Due to their league-worst 1–15 record in 2007,[8] the Dolphins secured the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft on April 26.[84] The Dolphins used it to draft Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long.

Including Long, the Dolphins selected the following nine players in the 2008 NFL Draft:[85]

Draft Player name Position College Height Weight
Rnd Pick
1 1 Jake Long Offensive tackle Michigan 6' 7" 315 lbs
2 32 Phillip Merling Defensive end Clemson 6' 4" 275 lbs
57 Chad Henne Quarterback Michigan 6' 3" 228 lbs
3 66 Kendall Langford Defensive end Hampton 6' 6" 287 lbs
4 110 Shawn Murphy Guard Utah State 6' 4" 314 lbs
6 176 Jalen Parmele Running back Toledo 5' 11" 225 lbs
195 Donald Thomas Guard Connecticut 6' 4" 305 lbs
204 Lex Hilliard Running back Montana 5' 11" 234 lbs
7 245 Lionel Dotson Defensive end Arizona 6' 4" 295 lbs

Notes

Draft day trades[edit]

On the first day of the draft, the Dolphins traded second-year running back Lorenzo Booker to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick (115th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft.[88]

On the second day of the draft, the Dolphins acquired the Detroit Lions' third-round pick (66th overall) as well as their sixth-round pick (176th overall) in exchange for the Dolphins' third-round pick (64th overall).[89] The Lions used the pick to select running back Kevin Smith,[89] while the Dolphins took defensive end Kendall Langford with the third-round pick and running back Jalen Parmele with the sixth-rounder.[90]

Later on Day 2, the Dolphins traded the fourth-round pick acquired from the Eagles, along with a seventh-round pick (208th overall), to the Chicago Bears in exchange for the 110th overall selection.[90] The Dolphins used this pick to select guard Shawn Murphy.[90] The 115th overall pick was eventually dealt by the Bears the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who used it to select defensive tackle Dre Moore.[90] The Bears used the seventh-round pick to select defensive end Ervin Baldwin.[90]

Draft pick signings[edit]

In the weeks leading up to the draft, the Dolphins began contract negotiations with Jake Long.[91] On April 14, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that the Dolphins had given Long a deadline to accept their contract offer (believed to be worth less than 2007 No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell received from the Oakland Raiders); otherwise, they would move on to another prospect.[92] On April 22, the Dolphins officially signed Long to a five-year, $57.75 million contract with $30 million guaranteed, assuring they would take him first overall.[93] On May 19, the Dolphins signed sixth-rounders Jalen Parmele and Lex Hilliard and seventh-rounder Lionel Dotson to contacts.[68] On May 23, sixth-round pick Donald Thomas was signed to a multi-year deal.[94] On July 11, the Dolphins signed third-round pick Kendall Langford to a multi-year deal.

Undrafted free agents[edit]

Following the 2008 NFL Draft, the Dolphins signed 18 undrafted free agents. They were:[46][68][95][96]

Two failed to survive a week with the team, as the Dolphins released Lane and Reece on May 5.[46] Less than a month after being signed, Robertson decided to retire.[97] On June 9, the Dolphins signed wide receiver John Dunlap (NC State) after he attended a minicamp on a tryout basis.[98]

Reserve lists[edit]

Training camp and preseason[edit]

Opening camp roster[edit]

Miami Dolphins 2008 opening training camp roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics

Final preseason roster[edit]

Miami Dolphins 2008 final preseason roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics

Roster moves[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

Final cuts[edit]

On August 30, the Dolphins made 17 roster moves to reach the NFL's 53-player limit.[102] The players released were:[102]

Preseason schedule[edit]

The Dolphins' 2008 preseason schedule was announced on April 3.[103]

Week Time* Date Opponent Result Record Game site TV NFL.com Recap
1 7:30 PM EDT August 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 17–6 0–1 Dolphin Stadium WFOR Recap
2 7:38 PM EDT August 16 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 19–14 1–1 Jacksonville Municipal Stadium WFOR Recap
3 7:30 PM EDT August 23 Kansas City Chiefs W 24–0 2–1 Dolphin Stadium WFOR Recap
4 8:00 PM EDT August 28 at New Orleans Saints W 14–10 3–1 Louisiana Superdome WFOR Recap

Preseason recap[edit]

After losing their preseason opener to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,[104] the Dolphins won their final three contests to finish the preseason 3–1.[104]

Quarterback Chad Pennington was the Dolphins' most efficient passer of the preseason, leading the team in completion percentage (72.0) and passer rating (104.8).[105] Rookie quarterback Chad Henne led the team in passing yards (351) but also in interceptions (2) while matching Pennington in passing touchdowns (1).[105]

Running backs Ricky Williams and Jalen Parmele tied for the team lead in rushing yards at 123.[105] Williams, Parmele and Ronnie Brown were the only Dolphins to rush for a touchdown during the preseason, scoring one each.[105] Lex Hilliard and Patrick Cobbs finished fourth and fifth, respectively, on the team in rushing yards.[105]

No Dolphins player surpassed 100 receiving yards during the preseason, though wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. came closest at 97.[105] He also tied rookie Davone Bess for the team lead in receptions with eight.[105] Tight ends Anthony Fasano and Sean Ryan were the only Dolphins to catch a touchdown pass.[105][106]

On special teams, rookie placekicker Dan Carpenter converted 7-of-8 field-goal attempts and all six extra-point attempts.[105] Punter Brandon Fields punted 21 times for a 44.1-yard average and two touchbacks.[105] Meanwhile, Davone Bess led the team in punt returns (6) but Ted Ginn, Jr. was the only Dolphins player to return a kick or punt for a touchdown.[105] Patrick Cobbs led the team in kick return yards with 106.[105]

On defense, Linebackers Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor tied for the team lead with 17 tackles,[105] while Ayodele led the team in solo stops with 12.[105] Five others – Yeremiah Bell, Channing Crowder, Renaldo Hill, Nathan Jones, Edmond Miles – also reached double-digits in tackles.[105]

Four players – Jason Allen, Renaldo Hill, Michael Lehan, Joey Thomas – recorded an interception during the preseason.[105] The Dolphins also totaled 14 quarterbacks sacks during the preseason.[105] Linebacker Rob Ninkovich and defensive end Randy Starks each record a team-high two sacks,[105] while ten other players each recorded a sack apiece.[105] Channing Crowder, Junior Glymph and Paul Soliai each forced a fumble during the preseason.[105]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

The Dolphins' 2008 regular season schedule was released on April 15, 2008.[107]

Week Time* Date Opponent Result Record Game site TV NFL.com Recap
1 1:00 PM September 7, 2008 New York Jets L 14 – 20 0–1 Dolphin Stadium CBS Recap
2 4:15 PM September 14, 2008 at Arizona Cardinals L 10 – 31 0–2 University of Phoenix Stadium CBS Recap
3 1:00 PM September 21, 2008 at New England Patriots W 38 – 13 1–2 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
4 Bye
5 1:00 PM October 5, 2008 San Diego Chargers W 17 – 10 2–2 Dolphin Stadium CBS Recap
6 1:00 PM October 12, 2008 at Houston Texans L 28 – 29 2–3 Reliant Stadium CBS Recap
7 1:00 PM October 19, 2008 Baltimore Ravens L 13 – 27 2–4 Dolphin Stadium CBS Recap
8 1:00 PM October 26, 2008 Buffalo Bills W 25 – 16 3–4 Dolphin Stadium CBS Recap
9 4:05 PM November 2, 2008 at Denver Broncos W 26 – 17 4–4 INVESCO Field at Mile High CBS Recap
10 1:00 PM November 9, 2008 Seattle Seahawks W 21 – 19 5–4 Dolphin Stadium Fox Recap
11 1:00 PM # November 16, 2008 Oakland Raiders W 17 – 15 6–4 Dolphin Stadium CBS Recap
12 1:00 PM # November 23, 2008 New England Patriots L 28 – 48 6–5 Dolphin Stadium CBS Recap
13 1:00 PM # November 30, 2008 at St. Louis Rams W 16 – 12 7–5 Edward Jones Dome CBS Recap
14 4:05 PM # December 7, 2008 at Buffalo Bills (Toronto) W 16 – 3 8–5 Rogers Centre CBS Recap
15 1:00 PM # December 14, 2008 San Francisco 49ers W 14 – 9 9–5 Dolphin Stadium Fox Recap
16 1:00 PM # December 21, 2008 at Kansas City Chiefs W 38 – 31 10–5 Arrowhead Stadium CBS Recap
17 4:15 PM # December 28, 2008 at New York Jets W 24 – 17 11–5 The Meadowlands CBS Recap

* All games are Eastern Time.[107]
# Games that can be potentially moved to Sunday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. on NBC-TV.[107]

Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(3) Miami Dolphins 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 345 317 W5
New England Patriots 11 5 0 .688 4–2 7–5 410 309 W4
New York Jets 9 7 0 .563 4–2 7–5 405 356 L2
Buffalo Bills 7 9 0 .438 0–6 5–7 336 342 L1

Opening day roster[edit]

Miami Dolphins 2008 opening day roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics

Final roster[edit]

Miami Dolphins 2008 final roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics
53 Active, 7 Inactive, 8 PS

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: vs. New York Jets[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Jets 7 6 7 0 20
Dolphins 0 7 0 7 14

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the loss, the Dolphins began their season 0–1.

Week 2: at Arizona Cardinals[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 0 0 3 7 10
Cardinals 14 3 14 0 31

at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

With the loss, the Dolphins fell to 0–2 and have lost their 5th straight game to NFC Opponents.

Week 3: at New England Patriots[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 7 14 7 10 38
Patriots 0 6 7 0 13

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

The Dolphins headed to Foxboro to face the Division rival New England Patriots. Little did New England know that they would be a test for an offensive formation concocted as the Dolphins coaching staff wanted to put running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown onto the field at the same time. David Lee thus revealed the Wildcat to the NFL. Ronnie Brown would take direct snaps and keep it himself or hand it of to another back. The Dolphins decimated the Patriots all day with the Wildcat offense for a 38–13 victory as they put a dent in the Patriots' 21-game regular season winning streak and went on their bye week at 1–2.

Week 5: vs. San Diego Chargers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 3 0 7 0 10
Dolphins 3 14 0 0 17

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 2–2.

Week 6: at Houston Texans[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 7 7 7 7 28
Texans 3 10 7 9 29

at Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas

With the loss, the Dolphins fell to 2–3.

Week 7: vs. Baltimore Ravens[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Ravens 3 14 3 7 27
Dolphins 3 3 7 0 13

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the loss, the Dolphins fell to 2–4.

Week 8: vs. Buffalo Bills[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 3 6 7 0 16
Dolphins 7 0 10 8 25

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 3–4.

Week 9: at Denver Broncos[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 13 3 0 10 26
Broncos 7 0 3 7 17

at Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 4–4.

Week 10: vs. Seattle Seahawks[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Seahawks 0 7 6 6 19
Dolphins 7 7 0 7 21

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 5–4 and snapped their 5-game losing streak to NFC Opponents.

Week 11: vs. Oakland Raiders[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 3 2 10 15
Dolphins 7 0 7 3 17

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 6–4.

Week 12: vs. New England Patriots[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 3 14 14 17 48
Dolphins 7 7 7 7 28

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

A week after a 400-yard passing game against the Jets Matt Cassel threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns while Chad Pennington threw for 345 yards and two scores; both quarterbacks also ran in a touchdown. The Dolphins Wildcat offense was limited to 27 yards as the Patriots broke open a tight game in the fourth quarter, winning 48–28.

With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 6–5.

Week 13: at St. Louis Rams[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 0 10 3 3 16
Rams 6 3 0 3 12

at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 7–5.

Week 14: at Buffalo Bills[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 7 6 0 3 16
Bills 3 0 0 0 3

at Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

With the win, the Dolphins sweep the Bills for the season and improve their record to 8–5.

Week 15: vs. San Francisco 49ers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 3 0 3 3 9
Dolphins 7 7 0 0 14

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 9–5 and finished 3–1 against the NFC West.

Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 10 14 7 7 38
Chiefs 7 21 3 0 31

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 10–5.

Week 17: at New York Jets[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 0 14 7 3 24
Jets 0 9 8 0 17

at The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Dolphins clinched the AFC East title as they intercepted Jets quarterback Brett Favre three times (Philip Merling ran in a 25-yard touchdown on a Favre pick) while Charlie Anderson and Patrick Cobbs blocked a Jets punt. The win put the Dolphins into the playoffs for the first time since 2001 as they finished the season with an 11–5 record and locked up the AFC's No. 3 seed.

Transactions[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Coaches[edit]

After leading the Dolphins to an 11–5 record and an AFC East title in his first year as head coach, Tony Sparano was selected as the NFL Alumni's 2008 Coach of the Year.[114] Sparano was also one of six nominees for the 2008 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year Award.[115]

Players[edit]

The Dolphins landed two players – running back Ronnie Brown and linebacker Joey Porter – on the AFC's Pro Bowl team.[116] Porter recorded 17.5 sacks during the 2008 season and was named as a starter on the AFC's squad.[116] In his first career Pro Bowl season, Brown led the Dolphins with 214 carries, 916 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.[117] He also ranked fourth on the team with 33 catches and sixth with 254 receiving yards.[117]

Additionally, Porter was nominated for the GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Year Award and was a second-team AP All-Pro selection.[118][119] Quarterback Chad Pennington, guard Justin Smiley and cornerback Will Allen also received votes for the All-Pro team but were not selected.[119]

However, Pennington did earn the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award for the second time in his career.[120] Pennington led the NFL with a 67.4 completion percentage and was second in the NFL with a 97.4 passer rating.[120] He threw for a career-high 3,653 yards, 19 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.[120]

In January 2009, three Dolphins rookies were selected to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie Team.[121] Earning selections were offensive tackle Jake Long, defensive end Kendall Langford and placekicker Dan Carpenter.[121]

The first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Long started all 16 games for the Dolphins at left tackle.[121] A third-round pick out of Hampton, Langford started 14 of the 16 games in which he played as a rookie and recorded 31 tackles and two sacks.[121] Undrafted out of Montana, Carpenter went 21-for-25 (84 percent) on field goals and made all 40 extra-point attempts.[121]

Playoffs[edit]

Game summaries[edit]

AFC Wild Card: vs. Baltimore Ravens[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Ravens 3 10 7 7 27
Dolphins 3 0 0 6 9

at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

Entering the postseason as the AFC's No. 3 seed, the Dolphins began their playoff run at home in the AFC Wild Card Round, with a Week 7 rematch against the No. 6 Baltimore Ravens. Miami would deliver the game's first points with rookie kicker Dan Carpenter's 19-yard field goal. The Ravens would later respond with a 23-yard field goal from kicker Matt Stover. Baltimore would take the lead with safety Ed Reed returning a Chad Pennington interception 64 yards for a touchdown. The Ravens would then close out the half with Stover's 31-yard field goal.

Baltimore would increase their lead in the third quarter with running back Le'Ron McClain's 8-yard touchdown run. The Dolphins tried to come back in the fourth quarter as Pennington completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Ronnie Brown (with a failed PAT), but the Ravens would pull away as quarterback Joe Flacco got a 5-yard touchdown run.

With the loss, Miami's impressive turnaround season ended with an overall record of 11–6.

Despite having only 16 turnovers throughout the entire regular season, the Dolphins committed 5 turnovers (4 interceptions and a lost fumble).

References[edit]

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  2. ^ http://beatthesportsbook.com/home/?p=10901 Archived July 7, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
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  17. ^ "Profile – Steve Hoffman". MiamiDolphins.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Profile – George Edwards". MiamiDolphins.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
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