History has been apart of our culture for quite some time. This is especially true in the world of sports. The Broncos have quite a bit of history with their Week 12 opponent, the Miami Dolphins. The Broncos have been a franchise since 1960 and have squared off against the Dolphins 17 times. However, the Broncos have quite a bit of painful memories against their foes from the AFC East. Miami currently owns a 11-5-1 series advantage over the Denver Broncos. However, both teams bring out the best in each other as a handful of those games were decided by 10 points or less.
My first memory of this matchup was that heartbreaking Monday Night Football game in 1998. Coming off of a 20-16 loss to the New York Giants the week before, the Broncos traveled to Miami to face a strong Dolphins team led by quarterback Dan Marino. It also marked the first time these two teams squared off since the 1985 season. (The Dolphins won that game 30-26) It appeared that the two teams were going to have a huge battle, but the Dolphins outmatched them. They held Terrell Davis to under 40 yards rushing during his 2,000 yard season. The Dolphins would go on to win 31-21.
The Broncos would get their revenge against the Dolphins less than a month later in the AFC Divisional Matchup. The Broncos defense only allowed three points and even scored a defensive touchdown when Neil Smith returned a Dan Marino fumble 79 yards for a touchdown that cemented the game, a 38-3 Broncos victory. In that game, Davis would rebound from his dismissal performance in the regular season with 199 rushing yards in the rematch.
After John Elway retired, the Broncos would play the Dolphins in the first game of the 1999 season. Marino and the Dolphins once again flexed their muscles on their way to a 38-21 victory, spoiling Elway’s retirement party. This would begin a three game losing streak against the Miami Dolphins, so history was painful for the Broncos against the Dolphins from 1999-2003. The Broncos got their first win in the post-John Elway era in 2004 with Jake “The Snake” Plummer at quarterback. At Invesco Field at Mile High, the Broncos posted a 20-17 victory. Tatum Bell led the way with two rushing touchdowns and 123 rushing yards. It marked the first time in franchise history the Broncos defeated the Dolphins at Mile High during the regular season.
Perhaps one of the most memorable games played between these two teams in history was the last meeting between the two back in 2011. This game marked as Tim Tebow’s first start of the season for the Broncos. This game became an instant classic. With the Broncos down 15-0 with three minutes left in the game, the craze that was Tebowmania began. With 2:44 on the clock, Tebow completed a pass to Demaryius Thomas for a touchdown. Thomas is in fact the only starting wideout from that game still on the active roster. His touchdown reception started a possible comeback.
The Broncos would recover the onside kick and Tebow would march down the field and complete a pass for a touchdown to Daniel Fells, who caught a pass in between three Dolphins just outside of the end zone a few plays earlier. Down 15-13, the Broncos decided to go for two. Tebow called his own name and easily got into the end zone to tie the game at 15 with just under 20 seconds to go in the game. The Broncos would go on to win in overtime on a Matt Moore fumble and Matt Prater converting on a 52 yard field goal. It was Prater’s only field goal that he made the entire game. The phrase known as Tebow Time became a thing and the Broncos won their first game against the Dolphins in Miami in franchise history.
The Broncos and Dolphins should provide another classic this season. Peyton Manning vs Ryan Tannehill should be a good matchup between two teams that are in the thick of the playoff race. Hopefully history can favor the Broncos in this matchup. A win on Sunday would mark the first time the Broncos have beaten the Dolphins twice in a row in franchise history. I look forward to a great game.