American Football Wiki
1982 Miami Dolphins season
Head Coach Don Shula
Home Field Miami Orange Bowl
Record 7–2
Place 2nd AFC
Playoff Finish Lost Super Bowl XVII
Previous Season Next Season
1981 1983


NFL Draft

Round Pick # Player Position College
1 24 Roy Foster Guard USC

Regular season

The Dolphins finished the strike-shortened regular season with a 7–2 record, ranking them second in the AFC.

The Dolphins' main strength was their defense, nicknamed the "Killer Bees" because 6 of their 11 starters had last names that began with the letter "B". The "Killer Bees", anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Bob Baumhower, led the league in fewest total yards allowed (2,312) and fewest passing yards allowed (1,027). Linebacker A.J. Duhe was extremely effective at blitzing and in pass coverage. And the Dolphins secondary, consisting of defensive backs Don McNeal, Gerald Small and brothers Lyle and Glenn Blackwood, combined for 11 interceptions.

However, the Dolphins' passing attack, led by quarterback David Woodley, ranked last in the league with 1,401 total yards, 8 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. One of the few bright spots in the Dolphins passing attack was wide receiver Jimmy Cefalo, who gained 356 yards off just 17 receptions, an average of 20.9 yards per catch. Wide receiver Duriel Harris also provided a deep threat with 22 receptions for 331 yards.

But Miami's strength on offense was their running game, ranking 3rd in the league with 1,344 yards. Pro Bowl running back Andra Franklin was the team's top rusher with 701 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back Tony Nathan rushed for 233 yards, and caught 16 passes for another 114 yards. Woodley himself also recorded 207 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. One reason for the Dolphins' rushing success was the blocking of their offensive line, led by future hall of fame center Dwight Stephenson, along with Pro Bowlers Bob Kuechenberg and Ed Newman.

Snowplow Game

In National Football League lore, the Snowplow Game refers to a regular-season game played between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots on December 12, 1982.

Playing in a heavy snowstorm at New England's Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the two teams remained scoreless late into the fourth quarter. With 4:45 left to go in the game and on-field conditions worsening, Patriots coach Ron Meyer summoned Mark Henderson, who was a convict on a work release program, and was the stadium's snowplow operator that afternoon – and in the face of furious protests from Miami coach Don Shula – was directed to veer off course and clear a spot on the field for placekicker John Smith, with Matt Cavanaugh putting down the hold. The kick was good and the Patriots took a 3–0 lead into the final minutes of the game.

The Rest of the Story What is often left untold is what happened after John Smith kicked the go-ahead field goal. Despite the snowy conditions, the Dolphins methodically marched down the field on the strength of their running backs Andra Franklin and Tony Nathan and Quarterback David Woodley. With about a minute left in the game, and well within field goal range, the Dolphins faced a 4th down. Mark Henderson had driven his John Deere tractor down to that side of the field and was ready at motion from the referee, to go out on the field and clear a path for Dolphins Kicker Uwe von Schamann. Shula decided to go for the first down instead of a tying field goal. The Patriots stopped the Dolphins, took over on downs and the rest is history.

Henderson was released from prison a few years after the game, and currently works in the construction business. Henderson's plow was actually a John Deere Model 314 tractor with a sweeper attached. When he was being interviewed by a TV reporter about the controversy, Henderson jokingly replied, "What are they gonna do, throw me in jail?" Smith's subsequent field goal gave the Patriots a 3–0 lead that held until the final gun. The game ball was awarded to all-pro linebacker Steve Nelson, who subsequently donated it to his alma mater, North Dakota St. Henderson also received a game ball from a gracious Meyer after the game. The following year, the NFL banned the use of snowplows on the field during a game. The moment is an interactive feature of the new Hall at Patriot Place, next to Gillette Stadium.


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 12 at New York Jets W 45–28
2 September 19 Baltimore Colts W 24–20
3 November 21 at Buffalo Bills W 9–7
4 November 29 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 23-17
5 December 5 Minnesota Vikings W 22–14
6 December 12 at New England Patriots L 3-0
7 December 18 New York Jets W 20–19
8 December 27 Buffalo Bills W 27–10
9 January 2 at Baltimore Colts W 34–7


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 January 8 New England Patriots W 28–13
2 January 16 San Diego Chargers W 34–13
3 January 23 New York Jets W 14–0
4 January 30 Washington Redskins L 27–17


Los Angeles Raiders 8 1 0 .889 260 200
Miami Dolphins 7 2 0 .778 198 131
Cincinnati Bengals 7 2 0 .778 232 177
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 3 0 .667 204 146
San Diego Chargers 6 3 0 .667 288 221
New York Jets 6 3 0 .667 245 166
New England Patriots 5 4 0 .556 143 157
Cleveland Browns 4 5 0 .444 140 182
Buffalo Bills 4 5 0 .444 150 154
Seattle Seahawks 4 5 0 .444 127 147
Kansas City Chiefs 3 6 0 .333 176 184
Denver Broncos 2 7 0 .222 148 226
Houston Oilers 1 8 0 .111 136 245
Baltimore Colts 0 8 1 .056 113 236


Qualified for playoffs


AFC First Round

  • Miami Dolphins 28, New England Patriots 13

AFC Divisional Playoff

  • Miami Dolphins 34, San Diego Chargers 13
1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 0 13 0 0 13
Dolphins 7 20 0 7 34

at Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

  • Game time: 12:30 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Template:Convert/°F, mostly cloudy
  • Referee: Jerry Markbreit
  • TV announcers (NBC): Don Criqui, John Brodie, and Bob Griese

AFC Championship Game

  • Miami Dolphins 14, New York Jets 0

Super Bowl XVII

  • Washington Redskins 27, Miami Dolphins 17

at Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

Scoring summary

  • MIA – TD: Jimmy Cefalo 76 yard pass from David Woodley (Uwe von Schamann kick) 7–0 MIA
  • WAS – FG: Mark Moseley 31 yards 7–3 MIA
  • MIA – FG: Uwe von Schamann 20 yards 10–3 MIA
  • WAS – TD: Alvin Garrett 4 yard pass from Joe Theismann (Mark Moseley kick) 10–10 tie
  • MIA – TD: Fulton Walker 98 yard kickoff return (Uwe von Schamann kick) 17–10 MIA
  • WAS – FG: Mark Moseley 20 yards 17–13 MIA
  • WAS – TD: John Riggins 43 yard run (Mark Moseley kick) 20–17 WAS
  • WAS – TD: Charlie Brown 6 yard pass from Joe Theismann (Mark Moseley kick) 27–17 WAS

Awards and honors

Pro Bowl players FB Andra Franklin, NT Bob Baumhower

Notes and references

  1. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 294