1981 Miami Dolphins season

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1981 Miami Dolphins season
Head coach Don Shula
Home field Orange Bowl
Results
Record 11–4–1
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish Lost AFC Divisional Playoff (Chargers) 38-41 (OT)

The 1981 Miami Dolphins season was the 16th year of existence for the Miami Dolphins franchise. With the retirement of Bob Griese not much was expected out of the Dolphins. The Dolphins Defense, which became known as the Killer Bees because of the number of players whose last name began with the letter B. The Bees were Bill Barnett, Bob Baumhauer, Lyle Blackwood, Kim Bokamper, and Bob Brudzinski anchored a strong team. They finished 11-4-1, as Don Shula reached a milestone by winning his 200th game of his coaching career. In the Divisional Playoffs against the San Diego Chargers the Dolphins fell behind 24-0 early in front of a sold out crowd at the Orange Bowl. With time running out in the first Half the Dolphins desperately needed a score to get back in the game. Out of nowhere the Dolphins ran the old schoolyard hook and lateral play to success. On the play Quarterback Don Strock threw a pass over the middle to WR Duriel Harris who lateraled to WR Tony Nathan who ran the ball in for Touchdown. The play sparked the Dolphins who came back, and took a lead in the 4th Quarter. However, the Killer Bees could not contain Chargers QB Dan Fouts who tied the game, and forced overtime where the Chargers won the game on a Rolf Bernershka Field Goal in the 14th minute of overtime.

Offseason[edit]

NFL draft[edit]

Main article: 1981 NFL draft
1981 Miami Dolphins draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 13 David Overstreet  Running back Oklahoma
2 56 Andra Franklin *  Running back Nebraska
4 84 Sam Greene  Wide receiver UNLV
4 96 Brad Wright  Quarterback New Mexico
5 126 Ken Poole  Defensive end Louisiana–Monroe
5 138 Tommy Vigorito  Running back Virginia
6 152 Mack Moore  Defensive end Texas A&M
6 154 Fulton Walker  Defensive back West Virginia
7 179 Mike Daum  Offensive tackle Cal Poly
8 208 William Judson  Defensive back South Carolina State
9 235 John Noonan  Wide receiver Nebraska
10 261 Steve Folsom  Tight end Utah
11 291 Jim Jensen  Wide receiver Boston University
12 318 John Alford  Defensive tackle South Carolina State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1981 Miami Dolphins staff
Front office

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Don Shula

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Steve Crosby, Carl Taseff
  • Punting – Tom Keane


Regular season[edit]

The Dolphins won the AFC East title behind second-year quarterback David Woodley and a running attack that managed 2,173 yards and 18 touchdowns. In their eight divisional games they swept the Colts and Patriots but split with Buffalo and went winless against a resurgent Jets squad; they tied the Jets 28–28 at Miami then lost at Shea Stadium 16–15. They won their last four games of the season to finish 11–4–1.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1981 at St. Louis Cardinals W 20–7
50,351
2 September 10, 1981 Pittsburgh Steelers W 30–10
75,059
3 September 20, 1981 at Houston Oilers W 16–10
47,379
4 September 27, 1981 at Baltimore Colts W 31–28
41,630
5 October 4, 1981 New York Jets T 28–28
68,723
6 October 12, 1981 at Buffalo Bills L 31–21
78,576
7 October 18, 1981 Washington Redskins W 13–10
47,367
8 October 25, 1981 at Dallas Cowboys L 28–27
64,221
9 November 1, 1981 Baltimore Colts W 27–10
46,061
10 November 8, 1981 at New England Patriots W 30–27
60,436
11 November 15, 1981 Oakland Raiders L 33–17
61,777
12 November 22, 1981 at New York Jets L 16–15
59,962
13 November 30, 1981 Philadelphia Eagles W 13–10
67,797
14 December 6, 1981 New England Patriots W 24–14
50,421
15 December 13, 1981 at Kansas City Chiefs W 17–7
57,407
16 December 19, 1981 Buffalo Bills W 16–6
72,956

Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Miami Dolphins(2) 11 4 1 .719 5–2–1 8–3–1 345 275 W4
New York Jets(4) 10 5 1 .656 6–1–1 8–5–1 355 287 W2
Buffalo Bills(5) 10 6 0 .625 6–2 9–3 311 276 L1
Baltimore Colts 2 14 0 .125 2–6 2–10 259 533 W1
New England Patriots 2 14 0 .125 0–8 2–10 322 370 L9

Playoffs[edit]

The Dolphins returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence, hosting the "Air Coryell" Chargers in one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history.

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional January 2, 1982 San Diego Chargers L 41–38
73,735

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1981 Miami Dolphins draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]