1966 Miami Dolphins season

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1966 Miami Dolphins season
Head coach George Wilson
General manager Chuck Burr
Owner Joe Robbie
Home field Miami Orange Bowl
Results
Record 3–11
Division place 5th AFL Eastern
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers 3

The 1966 Miami Dolphins season was the team's inaugural year as an expansion franchise in the American Football League (AFL). The Dolphins team was founded by attorney-politician Joe Robbie and actor-comedian Danny Thomas. Future Harlem Globetrotters and Montreal Canadiens owner George N. Gillett, Jr. was a minority partner in the Dolphins.[1] The team was led by head coach George Wilson.

Their regular-season debut began with Joe Auer returning the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, but the club ultimately lost to the Oakland Raiders. Auer was the leading scorer for the season and was named team MVP for 1966. The team started the season 0–5 before upsetting the Denver Broncos in Miami. The Dolphins defeated the Houston Oilers in the following week, but then lost the next six consecutive games. In Week 16, Miami won against the Oilers again to finish the season with a 3–11 record. Having defeated the Oilers twice, the Dolphins became the first ever expansion team in the Super Bowl era to sweep a division rival, and the last until the Jacksonville Jaguars did it in 1995 against the Cleveland Browns.

Offseason[edit]

AFL Draft[edit]

With the first pick overall, the Dolphins selected running back Jim Grabowski out of the University of Illinois.[2] Grabowski was also drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League's draft. The result was a bidding war between the two franchises to obtain Grabowski's services. The Packers signed Grabowski and he played for them for five seasons.

1966 Miami Dolphins draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 Jim Grabowski  Running back Illinois
1 2 Rick Norton  Quarterback Kentucky
2 9 Frank Emanuel  Linebacker Tennessee
3 18 Larry Gagner  Guard Florida
4 26 Dick Leftridge  Fullback West Virginia
5 34 Grady Bolton  Tackle Mississippi State
6 42 Ed Weisacosky  Linebacker Miami (FL)
7 51 Don Hansen  Linebacker Illinois
8 64 Bob Petrella  Defensive back Tennessee
9 74 Bill Matan  Defensive end Kansas State
10 83 Pat Killorin  Cornerback Syracuse
11 92 Sammy Price  Running back Illinois
12 101 Howard Twilley  Wide receiver Tulsa
13 110 Kent Kramer  Tight end Minnesota
14 119 Phil Scoggin  Placekicker Texas A&M
15 128 Jerry Oliver  Tackle Texas State
16 137 Don Lorenz  Defensive end Stephen F. Austin
17 146 Mike Bender  Guard Arkansas
18 155 Rich Kestner  End Kentucky
19 164 Doug Moreau  Tight end Louisiana State
20 173 John Tooker  Defensive back Adams State
      Made roster  

[3]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1966 Miami Dolphins staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Kicking – Bobby Walston


Roster[edit]

1966 Miami Dolphins 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
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Schedule[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Attendance
1 August 6, 1966 At San Diego Chargers L 38–10 0–1–0
2 August 12, 1966 Kansas City Chiefs L 33–0 0–2–0 34,277
3 August 20, 1966 New York Jets (Jacksonville, Florida) L 31–14 0–3–0
4 August 24, 1966 Denver Broncos (Memphis, Tennessee) L 28–16 0–4–0

Regular season[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Attendance
1 September 2, 1966 Oakland Raiders L 23–14 0–1–0
25,188
2 September 9, 1966 New York Jets L 19–14 0–2–0
33,650
3 September 18, 1966 at Buffalo Bills L 58–24 0–3–0
37,176
4 Bye
5 October 2, 1966 at San Diego Chargers L 44–10 0–4–0
26,444
6 October 9, 1966 at Oakland Raiders L 21–10 0–5–0
28,863
7 October 16, 1966 Denver Broncos W 24–7 1–5–0
22,191
8 October 23, 1966 at Houston Oilers W 20–13 2–5–0
21,999
9 Bye
10 November 6, 1966 Buffalo Bills L 29–0 2–6–0
36,685
11 November 13, 1966 at Kansas City Chiefs L 34–16 2–7–0
33,733
12 November 20, 1966 at New York Jets L 30–13 2–8–0
57,092
13 November 27, 1966 Boston Patriots L 20–14 2–9–0
22,480
14 December 4, 1966 at Denver Broncos L 17–7 2–10–0
32,116
15 December 11, 1966 Kansas City Chiefs L 19–18 2–11–0
17,881
16 December 18, 1966 Houston Oilers W 29–28 3–11–0
19,274

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 234Total
• Raiders 0 1076 23
Dolphins 7 007 14
  • Date: September 2
  • Location: Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game start: 8:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 82°F, wind 6 mph

The Miami Dolphins regular season debut was a home game against the Oakland Raiders on September 2; Miami running back Joe Auer returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.[4] An extra point kick by Gene Mingo allowed the Dolphins to lead 7–0 barely into the start of the game. Miami was unable to retain the lead, however, with the Raiders scoring a field goal in the second quarter and two touchdowns (one each in the second and third quarters) – a total of 17 points. In the fourth quarter, the Dolphins narrowed the score with a touchdown reception from Rick Norton to Rick Casares. However, Oakland responded with another touchdown – a 16 yard pass to Tom Mitchell from Tom Flores. The game ended with a 23–14 loss for Miami.[4]

Week 2[edit]

1 234Total
• Jets 9 0100 19
Dolphins 0 0014 14
  • Date: September 9
  • Location: Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game weather: 82°F, wind 10 mph

In their first ever intradivisional game, the Dolphins played against the AFL Eastern Division rival New York Jets at the Orange Bowl on September 9. Miami trailed the entire game, with the Jets scoring a safety (by tackling Rick Norton in the end zone) and a touchdown in the first quarter. New York added a field goal and a touchdown in the third quarter, while holding Miami scoreless until the fourth quarter. By then, the Dolphins scored a touchdown – a 43 yard reception from Norton to Dave Kocourek.[5] Later in the quarter, Jets quarterback Joe Namath was intercepted by Dolphins defensive back Pete Jaquess, who returned the ball 27 yards for another touchdown. However, Miami was unable to complete a comeback and lost 19–14.[6]

Week 3[edit]

1 234Total
Dolphins 3 7014 24
• Bills 21 2737 58

For their first division rivalry game against the Buffalo Bills on September 18, Miami traveled to the War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo. The Bills dominated the Dolphins throughout the game. In the first quarter, the Buffalo scored three touchdown before Miami kicked a field goal. The Bills then added four touchdowns in the second quarter, versus one by the Dolphins. After the first half, the score was 48–10 in favor of the Bills. The only score in the third quarter was a field goal by Booth Lusteg of Buffalo. Three touchdowns were scored in the fourth quarter, two for Miami and one for Buffalo. The Bills defeated the Dolphins by a score of 58–24,[7] which remains one of the worst losses by Miami in the history of the Bills–Dolphins rivalry.[8]

Week 5[edit]

1 234Total
Dolphins 3 700 10
• Chargers 0 61028 44
  • Date: October 2
  • Location: Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California
  • Game attendance: 26,444
  • Game weather: 71°F, wind 9 mph

Coming off their first bye week, the Miami Dolphins traveled to Balboa Stadium in San Diego in Week 5 in search for their first win. The Dolphins began the game with a 10 point lead – a field goal by Gene Mingo and a Karl Noonan touchdown via a 20 yard pass from Dick Wood. However, the Chargers took the lead in the third quarter following two touchdowns and a field goal, with a score of 16–10 as the quarter ended. In the fourth quarter, San Diego put the game away and delivered another blowout for Miami, scoring four touchdowns (28 points), while preventing the Dolphins from receiving additional points. The game ended with a score of 44–10 in favor of the Chargers. The Dolphins win–loss record fell to 0–4.[9]

Week 6[edit]

1 234Total
Dolphins 3 700 10
• Raiders 0 1407 21

In a second game against the Oakland Raiders on October 9, the Miami Dolphins traveled to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. Miami took the lead in the first quarter, with a 47 yard field goal by Gene Mingo. In the second quarter, Oakland took the lead after a touchdown, while Miami re-took the lead with a touchdown of their own. However, before the end of the second quarter, Oakland again re-took the lead with another touchdown. The first half of the game ended with a score of 14–10 in favor of the Raiders. Neither team received additional points in the third quarter. Oakland put the game away in the fourth quarter by scoring another touchdown. The match ended with a 21–10 loss for Miami.[10]

Week 7[edit]

1 234Total
Broncos 7 000 7
• Dolphins 10 077 24
  • Date: October 16
  • Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game attendance: 22,191
  • Game weather: 77°F, wind 9 mph

After being on the road since Week 3, the Miami Dolphins returned home in Week 7 for a contest against the Denver Broncos on October 16. Miami scored a touchdown and field goal in the first quarter, with a 67 yard pass from George Wilson to Billy Joe and a Gene Mingo field goal. The Broncos scored a touchdown later in the first quarter. Subsequently, the Dolphins scored one touchdown each in the third and fourth quarters – 1 yard and 3 yard rushes by Joe Auer, respectively. However, Denver was unable to earn additional points following the first quarter. As a result, the Miami Dolphins won the game by a score of 24–7. This was the first win by the franchise and raised their win–loss record to 1–5.[11]

Week 8[edit]

1 234Total
• Dolphins 7 733 20
Oilers 0 3100 13
  • Date: October 23
  • Location: Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas
  • Game attendance: 21,999
  • Game weather: 70°F, wind 5 mph

The Dolphins returned to the road again in Week 8, traveling to Rice Stadium to take on the Houston Oilers on October 23. Miami scored first with a touchdown in the first quarter – an 80 yard reception from George Wilson to Bo Roberson. George Blanda of the Oilers kicked a field goal in the second quarter, but the Dolphins responded with another touchdown. In the third quarter, Blanda kicked another field goal, but Gene Mingo of the Dolphins also scored a field goal. Houston finally reached the endzone later in the third quarter to narrow the match to a 4-point game. However, Mingo kicked another field goal in the fourth quarter, ending the game with a 20–13 win for Miami. The Dolphins improved to 2–5.[12]

Week 10[edit]

1 234Total
• Bills 0 10109 29
Dolphins 0 000 0
  • Date: November 6
  • Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game attendance: 36,685
  • Game weather: 76°F, wind 16 mph

After the second bye week, Miami returned home for another game against the Buffalo Bills on November 6. As during Week 3, the Bills again dominated the match. After neither club scored in the first quarter, Buffalo scored a touchdown and a field goal in both the second and third quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Bills scored a third touchdown. Later, Buffalo received two points from a safety after Marty Schottenheimer blocked a punt. Miami was unable to score points throughout the game and lost 29–0, their first regular season shutout loss. The Dolphins fell to 2–6.[13]

Week 11[edit]

1 234Total
Dolphins 0 1006 16
• Chiefs 17 1430 34
  • Date: November 13
  • Location: Municipal Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Game attendance: 33,733
  • Game weather: 45°F, wind 6 mph

In the following week, the Dolphins traveled to Municipal Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Miami was quickly overtaken. Kansas City reached a 23 point lead – three touchdowns (one missed extra point) and one field goal – before the Dolphins finally scored a field goal in the second quarter. Miami followed up with a touchdown, but Kansas City scored another touchdown before the end of the quarter. In the third quarter, the Chiefs added another field goal to their score. The Dolphins scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the team fell well short of making a comeback. The game ended with a 34–16 loss for Miami, with their record falling to 2–7.[14]

Week 12[edit]

1 234Total
Dolphins 6 007 13
• Jets 0 10137 30
  • Date: November 20
  • Location: Shea Stadium, New York City, New York
  • Game attendance: 57,092
  • Game weather: 36°F (27°F wind chill), wind 16 mph

During Week 12, the Dolphins traveled to Shea Stadium in New York City for their second match-up against the Jets on November 20. Miami built a six point lead in the first quarter with two field goals by Gene Mingo. However, they would not maintain their lead. In the second quarter, the Jets scored a touchdown and a field goal, before adding another touchdown and two additional field goals in the third quarter. Miami, down 23–6 at the close of the third quarter, finally scored again with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins were unable to overcome the deficit, and New York scored another touchdown before the end of regulation. The game ended with a 30–13 loss for Miami, dropping their record to 2–8.[15]

Week 13[edit]

1 234Total
• Patriots 0 10100 20
Dolphins 0 077 14
  • Date: November 27
  • Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game attendance: 22,480
  • Game weather: 63°F, wind 6 mph

Week 14[edit]

1 234Total
Dolphins 0 700 7
• Broncos 0 1070 17
  • Date: December 4
  • Location: Bears Stadium, Denver, Colorado
  • Game attendance: 32,116
  • Game weather: 32°F (28°F wind chill), wind 4 mph

For Week 14, the Dolphins traveled to Bears Stadium in Denver for another game against the Broncos on December 4. The game was a low-scoring affair. After neither team scored in the first quarter, Denver put points on the board with a Gary Kroner field goal, before Miami countered with Tom Erlandson scoring a touchdown after returning an interception 26 yards. However, the Broncos responded with a touchdown before the end of the second quarter. Denver scored another touchdown in the third quarter. Following that, neither Miami nor Denver any additional points in the third or fourth quarter. The game ended with a 17–7 loss for Miami, dropping their record to 2–10.[16]

Week 15[edit]

1 234Total
• Chiefs 3 3013 19
Dolphins 0 1107 18
  • Date: December 11
  • Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game attendance: 17,881
  • Game weather: 70°F, wind 9 mph

Miami returned home for their second match against Kansas City on December 11. The Chiefs opened up with two Mike Mercer field goals, with one each in the first and second quarters. Later in the second quarter, the Dolphins scored a field goal and a touchdown (with a 2-point conversion) to close the first half 11–6. After no scores in the third quarter, Kansas City was the first team to put more points on the board with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Miami then scored another touchdown to take the lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Chiefs countered with a touchdown before the game ended. Miami lost by a score of 19–18.[17]

Week 16[edit]

1 234Total
Oilers 7 1407 28
• Dolphins 0 8714 29
  • Date: December 18
  • Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • Game attendance: 19,274
  • Game weather: 71°F, wind 10 mph

Standings[edit]

AFL Eastern Division
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Buffalo Bills 9 4 1 .692 6–2 358 255 W1
Boston Patriots 8 4 2 .667 5–1–1 315 283 L1
New York Jets 6 6 2 .500 4–3–1 322 312 W1
Houston Oilers 3 11 0 .214 1–7 335 396 L8
Miami Dolphins 3 11 0 .214 2–5 213 362 W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory, D’Arcy Jenish, p. 296, Published in Canada by Doubleday, 2009, ISBN 978-0-385-66325-0
  2. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 396
  3. ^ "1966 Miami Dolphins draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins – September 2nd, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ "New York Jets at Miami Dolphins – September 9th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Miami Dolphins Throw Scare At New York Jets". Journal Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved April 28, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills – September 18th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  8. ^ "All Matchups, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 28, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers – October 2nd, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 29, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders – October 9th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins – October 16th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Houston Oilers – October 23rd, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – November 6th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs – November 13th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 5, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Miami Dolphins at New York Jets – November 20th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos – December 4th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins – December 11th, 1966". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c "1966 Miami Dolphins Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 

External links[edit]