Photo courtesy of Vossberg Gainor
It’s been nearly a half-century since the Miami Dolphins have won the Super Bowl. Over the years however, they have defeated a handful of teams who went on to do so.
One of those occasions came on this day 10 years ago. In mid-October 2010, the Dolphins used a field goal in overtime to top the Green Bay Packers, 23-20.
Setting the Stage
The Miami Dolphins had opened the season with a pair of road wins, but had dropped consecutive home games as they made their way to Lambeau Field on Oct. 17, 2010. At 2-2, the Dolphins were coming off a bye week and looking to avoid falling below .500 for the first time.
Fresh off an overtime loss to the Washington Redskins, the Packers were 3-2 on the young season. As time ticked away late, Green Bay was down to one play.
The Final Seconds and Overtime
Trailing 20-13, Green Bay had made its way from its own 31-yard-line down to the Miami 1 as the clock ticked down to 16 seconds. The Packers had converted a fourth down earlier in the drive when Aaron Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a first down. With the ball a yard from the end zone, Green Bay faced 4th-and-goal.
Rodgers originally lined up in the shotgun but quickly went under center and took the snap. With 13 seconds left, Rodgers bulled into the end zone. The extra point tied the game at 20.
Miami won the coin toss in overtime, but was unable to pick up a first down. After a punt, defensive end Cameron Wake come through for the Dolphins’ defense.
The Packers faced 3rd-and-6 from their own 20 when Wake got to Rodgers for the drive-ending sack. After a short punt, Miami started just shy of midfield.
With the exception of one completion from quarterback Chad Henne to Davone Bess, the Dolphins used the legs of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown to work their way into field goal range. The two combined to carry the ball five times as Miami faced 3rd-and-5 from Green Bay 26-yard-line.
Rather than run another play, Miami sent Dan Carpenter onto the field to try a 44-yard field goal. Carpenter’s kick split the uprights as Miami improved to 3-0 on the road and 3-2 on the season.
The teams went to the locker room tied, 10-10. Miami took its first lead on a 2-yard touchdown toss from Henne to Bess in the first quarter.
Green Bay would answer with an 86-yard bomb for a touchdown from Rodgers to Jennings. Carpenter’s 53-yard field goal late in the first half drew Miami even.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter before Henne found tight end Anthony Fasano for a 22-yard touchdown on a throwback screen with 5:29 to play. Green Bay took the ensuing drive 69 yards for the tying score.
Rodgers passed for 313 yards for the Packers in the loss. Jennings led all receivers with 133 yards to go with his long touchdown.
Henne threw for 231 yards for Miami in the win. Brown led all rushers with 73 yards. Dolphins’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught a game-high 10 passes for 127 yards in the win.
Defensively, Green Bay’s Tramon Williams and Miami’s Jason Allen each had interceptions. Wake recorded three sacks for the Dolphins. Packers’ linebacker A.J. Hawk tallied a game-high 13 tackles.
The Dolphins would alternate wins and losses from Oct. 17 to Dec. 19 before ending the season on a 3-game losing streak to finish 7-9 in 2010. The Packers on the other hand, rebounded to win their next four games.
Green Bay would finish the season with a record of 10-6, but won three straight road games to reach Super Bowl XLV. The Packers would then beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 for their first title in 43 years.
Although Green Bay never played a home game in the postseason, Lambeau Field was a place where the Packers lost just once in 2010. That came against the Dolphins in overtime on this day a decade ago.