This Sunday, the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins in the latest of what has become an epic rivalry between the two franchises.
While everyone knows about the “Monday Night Miracle”, “the Fake Spike” and the 51-45 shootout between Dan Marino and Ken O’Brien in September 1986, here are five classic Jets-Dolphins games that time forgot.
Dec. 13, 1998, at Pro Player Stadium: Jets 21, Dolphins 16
The two division rivals squared off on Sunday Night Football in Miami. Both teams entered with a 9-4 record and the winner would have a clear leg up in winning the AFC East.
With the Jets Leading 14-10 with 1:51 left, Dan Marino had one last chance to rally the Dolphins.
The victory clinched a playoff spot for the Jets, who a week later would win their first AFC East title.
Dec. 20, 1992, at Joe Robbie Stadium: Dolphins 20, Jets 19
Both teams were headed in opposite directions in this late-season matchup. After a promising preseason which saw them go 5-0 with second-year QB Browning Nagle, the Jets crash-landed during the regular season. The low point came when fan favorite Dennis Byrd saw his career end when he collided with teammate Scott Mersereau against Kansas City.
The low point came when fan favorite Dennis Byrd saw his career end when he collided with teammate Scott Mersereau against Kansas City. The injury left Byrd temporarily paralyzed and inspired the team’s upset win over Buffalo the next week.
Two weeks later, the 4-10 Jets and 9-5 Dolphins met on a Sunday Night in Miami with a playoff berth on the line for the home team.
Making matters worse for the Dolphins, Jets defensive coordinator Pete Carroll made a choke sign after Stoyanovich’s miss. Karma then did the Jets in, as the Dolphins stopped the Jets and got the ball back at the Jets 45-yard line with 1:05 remaining.
Marino then threw to Fred Banks for 11 yards and to Mark Duper for 17, providing a first down at the 22 with 39 seconds to go. Two plays later, Stoyanovich made the game-winner, clinching a playoff berth for the Dolphins.
Nov. 10, 1985, at the Orange Bowl: Dolphins 21, Jets 17
In a season that would see both teams qualify for the postseason, the Jets and Dolphins faced off at the Orange Bowl on November 10, 1985.
The Jets took a 17-14 lead after Ken O’Brien engineered a brilliant 80-yd drive that ended with a TD pass to backup tight end Rocky Klever with 1:06 left.
Dan Marino, who was still upset that his end zone interception to Bobby Jackson led to the Jets go-ahead touchdown, had little time to make things right for Miami and put the Dolphins in field goal range.
However, a tie game wouldn’t be enough for Marino.
Just 20 seconds after the Jets took the lead, Marino hit Mark Duper on a brilliant fade over Jackson for a 50-yd TD. The Dolphins 21-17 win was the determining factor that would decide the AFC East in the Dolphins favor.
Nov. 22, 1981, at Shea Stadium: Jets 16, Dolphins 15
In a late November matchup that would see the winner in first place, the Jets and Dolphins faced off at Shea Stadium.
A defensive struggle saw the Dolphins hold a 15-9 lead when Richard Todd and the Jets took over at their own 23-yard line with three minutes left.
Playing with a cracked rib and badly sprained ankle, Todd completed seven of 10 passes to six receivers moving the Jets to the Dolphins 11- yard line.
Todd then connected with tight end Jerome Barkum with 16 seconds left on the clock to send Shea Stadium into delirium. When Pat Leahy booted home the extra-point, the Jets had a 16-15 victory and stood alone atop the AFC East.
Dec. 22, 1991, at Joe Robbie Stadium: Jets 23, Dolphins 20
Everything was on the line when the Jets and Dolphins met in the final game of the 1991 season.
The winner would go on to the postseason as the AFC’s final wild-card team, while the loser would go home.
Leading 17-13, the Jets looked like they would once again fall victim to Dan Marino and break their fans hearts, when on fourth and goal, Marino hit Ferrell Edmunds for the go-ahead TD, giving the Dolphins a 20-17 lead.
Even Jets announcer Marty Glickman commented “Folks this game is over” when Ken O’Brien and company took the field with 44 seconds left.
However, O’Brien was able to lead the Jets into field goal territory and when newly signed kicker Raul Allegre connected from 44-yards out as time expired; the Jets and Dolphins were headed to overtime.
After winning the coin toss, the Jets struck quickly, as O’Brien took advantage of a Dolphins blitz and hit Rob Moore deep in Dolphins territory to set up Allegre’s game-winning kick.
When he drove it home from 30 yards out, the Jets were headed to the postseason for the first time since 1986.
Mark Kelly covers all New York Sports and the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. A two-time Emmy Award Winner and former ESPN Researcher, Mark’s story of surviving cancer has touched many lives. Read more about Mark here or go to CKMagicSports.com and click on KNOCKOUTCANCER.