SIX STATS you might not know about… 1972 Miami Dolphins

Famous cover photo by Walter Iooss, Jr., from ...

Larry Csonka & Jim Kiick... Image via Wikipedia

“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

With the Green Bay Packers sitting atop the NFL kingdom with a 9-0 record, more and more conversation about their season will include references to the 1972 Miami Dolphins and their perfect season that year when they went 14-0 in the regular season and won three playoff games enroute to a 17-0 season. Here are a few stats from that ‘72 Dolphins team.

1. The Dolphins topped the NFL that season with 385 points scored; they also topped the league with fewest points allowed, 171.

2. Of their 14 regular season wins, only three were by seven points or less. Interestingly enough, their three playoff wins were all by seven points or less. They gave up 20 points or more in only three games. Their lowest scoring game of the season was the 14 they scored in their Super Bowl win over the Washington Redskins.

3. The Dolphins had two running backs who finished the season with 1,000 or more yards rushing: Larry Csonka (1,117) and Mercury Morris (1,000). It was the first time teammates had rushed for 1,000 or more yards in the same season. A third running back, Jim Kiick, gave Miami three running backs who each had 135 or more rushing attempts that season.

4. Miami scored first in 11 of the 14 regular season games; they led at halftime in 11 of the 14 games; and they led at the end of the third quarter in 12 of the 14 games.

5. Some people have noted that Miami did not play a very strong schedule in their perfect season. The aggregate winning percentage of their opponents in 1972 was .396. Only two of the teams they played that year ended the season with a winning record: Kansas City (8-6) and the New York Giants (8-6). Eight of their wins came against divisions foes… the New Jets ended up 7-7; Baltimore Colts (5-9); Buffalo (4-9-1) and New England (3-11).

6. Miami ended the 1971 season with a 10-3-1 record and eventually lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl. In their season after the perfect 17-0 year, the Dolphins posted a 12-2 record and repeated as Super Bowl champions.


2 responses

  1. That Miami team may have had a superior running attack over Green Bay this year. As good as Marino was, Rodgers is having the ultimate season so far. The defense of Miami that year seemed impressive. Green Bay’s defense over Minnesota last week showed improvement. Could be interesting if the Green Bay defense continues to improve. Good article ASPJ.

    1. Jim: It was interesting to note in the research the dissimilarity between the two teams: The Dolphins had two QBs who started five and nine games respectively that season and then had a QB controversy in the Super Bowl; the Packers have Rodgers. The Pack this year is a pass-first, run-later team; the Dolphins were a run-first, pass-later team. Miami depended on ball control and a stingy defense; the Packers depend on a passing attack and a ball-hawking “D.” We’ll see if their paths meet at the end of the season with undefeated years. Thanks for the comments.

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