The AFC East rivalry began September 6, 1966, which was the Miami Dolphins’ inaugural season. The New York Jets, who had been established since 1959, with their first AFL season in 1960, already had a five-year-jump on Miami.
The Jets, who were named the Titans until the 1963 season, got the best of the Dolphins in their first eight meetings, outscoring them 238-112.
Under Miami’s first head coach, George Wilson, the Dolphins totaled a 15-39-2 record with zero trips to the postseason. Miami decided to put its franchise in the hands of Don Shula, who was the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator at the time. Miami’s fortunes changed, quickly. As soon did their results with the division rival Jets.
The new kids on the block from South Florida had grown tired of being an easy scratch on the rest of the league’s schedules. The 1970 season was the Dolphins’ first winning season and first playoff appearance, as coach Shula exceeded expectations in his first year as head coach. Miami would go on a revenge run against the Jets, pulling off wins in 14 of their next 16 matchups.
Back and Forth
The Dolphins and Jets entered into a brutal tug of war season after season, as both teams each having dominating spurts. Not only were some of the greatest Dolphin games against the Jets, but some of the NFL’s most memorable games were between the two.
The Monday night miracle in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Oct. 23, 2000, still haunts Dolphin fans to this day. The Jets notched 30 points in a fourth-quarter effort, evening the score against Miami and ultimately capturing a 40-37 victory in overtime.
On the same token, Dan Marino’s game-winning fake spike on November 27, 1994, haunts the Jets faithful just as much. After Marino’s demoralizing fake spike in ’94, the Jets lost the remaining four games of the season and fired then-head coach Pete Carroll. The Jets would go on to lose 32 of their next 36 games until 1997.
Even The Score
Like the championship days of Bob Griese and Joe Namath, to the glory years with Dan Marino, Ken O’Brien and Boomer Esiason, Miami vs. New York is always must-see football. Today, newcomers Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa, two young, strong-arm quarterbacks, look to keep the thrills coming for the next chapter of this East Coast rivalry.
New York leads the all-time series against the Dolphins, 55-53-1. But Miami, with a completely rebuilt franchise from the ground up, looks to start another run of consecutive wins and revert back to the early years of dominance under the great Coach Shula. If the 2020 season comes to fruition, we may see Miami even the score once again.