Dan Marino 1984
Dan Marino Rewrites the NFL Record Book in 1984
The airways of the NFL were raided by the passing attack of Dan Marino in 1984. Along with receivers Mark Clayton, Mark “Super” Duper, and Nat Moore, Marino lit up the scoreboard almost every week. The fewest points Miami would score in any one game in the regular season was 21 points.
Marino would become the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards (5,084). He also threw 48 touchdown passes in 1984 which was a record at the time. He won the NFL’s MVP (AP) award that year for his outstanding performance.
The Dolphins’ 1984 season started off in Washington, DC. Marino would throw 5 touchdown passes in the season opener. Also, Marino had 311 yards passing as Miami beat Washington 35-17. Dan’s longest TD pass in this game was a 74-yarder to Duper.
In week 2, the Miami Dolphins played their first home game (Orange Bowl) of the season as they took on the New England Patriots. Miami would win the game by a score of 28 to 7. In this contest, Dan Marino had 2 touchdown tosses to go along with 234 yards. Marino’s long pass of the game was a TD strike to Clayton for 38 yards.
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Miami would travel to Buffalo to face the Bills in week 3. Miami would beat the Bills 21 to 17 behind 3 TD tosses from Marino. His long past of week 3 was 23 yards. The longest TD pass was a 12-yard strike to Clayton.
In week 4, Dan Marino and the crew would smash the Colts in the Orange Bowl. The Dolphins won 44 to 7. In this game, Marino would add 257 passing yards as well 2 TD passes. The longest play in this game was an 80-TD pass from Marino to Duper. So, the season was just starting to heat up.
The week 5 game was a matchup against the Saint Louis Cardinals. Marino had 429 passing yards as well a 3 TD passes. Also, Marino had a long completion of 51 yards. His longest TD toss was a 29-yarder to Mark Clayton. The Dolphins moved to 5-0 as they beat the Cardinals 36 to 28.
Dan Marino celebrates his 61st birthday today (09/15/20220)
Dan Marino led the Dolphins to a road victory over his old home team in week 6. He grew up in Pittsburg as well attended the University of Pittsburg. But, that did not stop him from helping Miami to a 31-7 victory over the Steelers. So, in his return home Dan Marino put up 226 yards to go along with 2 TD passes. Joe Rose, of local radio fame, hauled in the longest pass of the game. Which, was a 34 yard TD grab.
The Dolphins would beat the Houston Oilers 28 to 10 at the Orange Bowl for the week 7 game. Marino had 3 TD tosses to go with 321 passing yards. Dan’s long completion was a 32 yard TD throw to Nat Moore. The Dolphins moved to 7 and 0.
In week 8, Miami would go the road to face the Patriots. Dan Marino guide the Dolphins to victory by throwing for 316 yard and 4 TD tosses. The longest pass was for 28 yards. Also note, that Marino’s longest scoring pass a 19 strike to Moore. The Dolphins moved to 8 and 0 at the halfway mark of the season.
Dan Marino at the Halfway Mark of ’84
Entering the second half of the season, the Dolphins were putting up amazing offensive numbers. They entered the week 9 matchup to face the Buffalo Bills at the Orange Bowl. Marino would have 3 TD passes. Also added by Dan, was 282 yards of passing with a long completion of 65 yards. Which, happened to be a TD pass to Clayton. Miami won 38 to 7.
In Week 10, the Dolphins would play a road game against the New York Jets. Marino put up 422 yards of passing to go with his longest strike being for 54 yards. Dan’s longest TD pass for this game was good for 47 yards to Clayton. The Dolphins won 31 to 17.
The Philadelphia Eagles were the week 11 game. The Dolphins escaped with 24 to 23 victory at the Orange Bowl. When, the Eagles had an extra point blocked after scoring what should have been a game-tying TD at the end of the game. Marino had a 246 yards of passing. His long pass was for 21 yards. Dan’s longest TD throw was an 11-yard strike to Tony Nathan. The Dolphins move to 11-0.
The Dolphins traveled across the country to face the San Diego Chargers for week 12. It would be the first loss of the season as Miami fell in overtime by a score of 34 to 28. But, Marino put up 338 yards in the air. as well as 2 TD tosses Also, had a long pass of 32 yards. But, the longest TD pass was a 12-yarder to Clayton. The Dolphins were now at 11-1 on the 1984 season.
In week 13, the Dolphins get back in the win column by beating the Jets at the Orange Bowl 28 to 17. So, Marino pick up where he left off by tossing 4 TD passes. Also, the air attack added 192 yards. The longest pass of the game was for 24 yards. Bruce Hardy hauled the longest TD reception of the day which was a 12 yarder.
Week 14, was the second and last loss of the regular season. The Los Angles Raiders rolled into the Orange Bowl as they out scored Miami 45 to 34. Marino would have 470 yards of passing and 4 TD passes. But, it was not enough to beat Oakland. The long pass was a 64 yard TD to Mark Clayton.
The Dolphins again would bounce back from defeat as the beat the Indianapolis Colts on the road in week 15. Miami won 35 to 17 as Marino put up 404 yards of passing as well as 4 TD tosses. The long pass of the day was for 42 yards while the longest TD throw was a 25-yarder to Jimmy Cefalo.
The final game of the regular season was a Monday Night Football Game at the Orange Bowl. The Dolphins would face the Dallas Cowboys in this prime-time game to cap off the 1984 NFL regular season. Dan Marino and Mark Clayton showed off for a big audience. Dan had 4 touchdown passes. Of those 4, three of them went to Clayton including Marino’s longest pass of the night which went for 63 yards to close the scoring. Dan put up 340 yards on the night. Also, is should be noted that the 3 TD receptions by Clayton made his total TDs for the season hit 18. The 18 touchdown receptions were an NFL record for a season at the time.
Everyone knows the conclusion, Marino and the Dolphins would have to play Joe Montana and the 49ers in the Super Bowl. The Dolphins lost the big game, but looking back it was still a great time watching the 1984 Dolphins conduct air raids all season. Marino would never return to a Super Bowl, but he gave Dolfans a lot of things to cheer about in 17 seasons.
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Resources: Pro-football-reference.com and 2022 Miami Dolphins Media Guied