11th season in pro football & with Dolphins
Height: 6’1” Weight: 190
A multi-talented player in college, Griese was taken by the Dolphins in the first round of the 1967 AFL/NFL draft. When starting QB John Stofa was lost to a broken ankle, Griese took over and had a solid rookie season as he threw for 2005 yards and 15 TD passes for a second-year franchise. He earned selection to the AFL All-Star game in 1967 and ’68, but suffered along with a struggling team until Don Shula took over as head coach in 1970. The Dolphins went 10-4 and made it to the playoffs and the quarterback was selected for the Pro Bowl in the newly-merged league. In 1971, the Dolphins won the AFC title and Griese was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection. He didn’t have the strongest arm, but it was accurate and he proved to be a good fit in Shula’s ball-control offense. Griese suffered a broken leg five games into the 1972 season but returned in the playoffs as the team went undefeated and won the Super Bowl. They won again in ’73 and he was again selected to the Pro Bowl even though the offense ran the ball more than it passed. Injuries factored into a couple of lesser seasons in 1975 and ’76, with personnel factors also an issue, but fitted with glasses, he came back strong in 1977.
1977 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]
Attempts – 307 
Most attempts, game – 38 at New England 12/11
Completions – 180 
Most completions, game – 22 at New England 12/11
Yards – 2252 
Most yards, game – 264 at Baltimore 10/9
Completion percentage – 58.6 [2, 1st in AFC]
Yards per attempt – 7.3 [4, tied with Roger Staubach]
TD passes – 22 
Most TD passes, game – 6 at St. Louis 11/24
Interceptions – 13 [17, tied with Gary Huff & Steve Bartkowski]
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. San Diego 10/30, at Cincinnati 11/20
Passer rating – 87.8 
200-yard passing games – 4
Attempts – 16
Most attempts, game - 3 (for 7 yds.) vs. New England 11/13
Yards – 30
Most yards, game – 8 yards (on 2 carries) vs. Houston 10/2, (on 1 carry) vs. Baltimore 12/5
Yards per attempt – 1.9
TDs – 0
Awards & Honors:
NFL Player of the Year: Bert Bell Award
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-AFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Dolphins went 10-4 to finish second in the AFC East.
Griese was selected to a sixth Pro Bowl in ’78 while leading the league in completion percentage (63.0) but injuries began to wear him down and ultimately ended his career in 1980. He ended up passing for 25,092 yards with 192 TD passes and the team went 92-56-3 with him behind center. The Dolphins retired Griese’s #12 and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1990. His son Brian followed him into the NFL.
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).