March 30, 2012

MVP Profile: Dan Marino, 1984

Quarterback, Miami Dolphins



Age: 23 (Sept. 15)
2nd season in pro football & with Dolphins
College: Pittsburgh
Height: 6’3” Weight: 214

Prelude:
While he had been the Univ. of Pittsburgh’s all-time passing leader, there were questions about Marino and, as part of a highly-touted class of available quarterbacks, he fell to the Dolphins as the 27th pick in the first round (and the fifth QB). Marino quickly put the doubts to rest, taking over from David Woodley as the starter after several relief appearances, with the club at 3-3, and passing Miami to 9 wins in the final 10 games. He led the AFC in passing (96.0 rating) while throwing 20 TD passes and just 6 interceptions and was named first-team All-AFC by UPI and Pro Football Weekly. Marino displayed a strong arm and quick release, making up for a lack of mobility, as well as being a quick study in reading NFL defenses.

1984 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 564 [1]
Most attempts, game – 57 vs. LA Raiders 12/2
Completions – 362 [1]
Most completions, game – 35 vs. LA Raiders 12/2
Yards – 5084 [1]
Most yards, game – 470 vs. LA Raiders 12/2
Completion percentage – 64.2 [3]
Yards per attempt – 9.0 [1]
TD passes – 48 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 5 at Washington 9/2
Interceptions – 17 [7, tied with four others]
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. Buffalo 10/28
Passer rating – 108.9 [1]
400-yard passing games – 4
300-yard passing games – 9
200-yard passing games – 15

Rushing
Attempts – 28
Most attempts, game - 6 (for -11 yds.) at Buffalo 9/17
Yards – -7
Most yards, game – 9 yards (on 1 carry) at New England 10/21
Yards per attempt – -0.3
TDs – 0

Postseason: 3 G
Pass attempts – 116
Most attempts, game - 50 vs. San Francisco, Super Bowl
Pass completions – 71
Most completions, game - 29 vs. San Francisco, Super Bowl
Passing yardage – 1001
Most yards, game - 421 vs. Pittsburgh, AFC Championship
TD passes – 8
Most TD passes, game - 4 vs. Pittsburgh, AFC Championship
Interceptions – 5
Most interceptions, game - 2 vs. Seattle, AFC Divisional playoff; vs. San Francisco, Super Bowl

Rushing attempts – 1
Most rushing attempts, game - 1 vs. San Francisco, Super Bowl
Rushing yards – 0
Most rushing yards, game - 0 vs. San Francisco, Super Bowl
Average gain rushing – 0.0
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP, PFWA, NEA, Bert Bell Award, Sporting News
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Dolphins went 14-2 to finish first in the AFC East while leading the NFL in total yards (6936), passing yards (5018), scoring (513 points), and TDs (70). Won Divisional playoff over Seattle Seahawks (31-10) and AFC Championship over Pittsburgh Steelers (45-28). Lost Super Bowl to San Francisco 49ers (38-16).

Aftermath:
Marino followed up his brilliant 1984 season with three more 4000-yard passing performances in the next three years and threw 44 TD passes in 1986. The Dolphins made it to the AFC title game again in 1985, but failed to reach the Super Bowl during the remainder of Marino’s 17-year career. With his ability to get the ball away in a hurry plus excellent protection, he rarely was sacked and proved to be durable, putting together a streak of 145 consecutive starts in non-strike games before an Achilles tendon injury sidelined him five games into the ’93 season. Overall, he led the NFL in passing yards four more times, TD passes twice, completions five times and attempts on four more occasions. The Dolphins were 147-93 with him behind center, 8-10 in the postseason. Upon his retirement, Marino was the league’s career leader in passes (8358), completions (4967), TD passes (420), and passing yards (61,361). The Dolphins retired his #13 and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2005.

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MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).

[Updated 2/9/14]