|2000 Miami Dolphins season|
|Head coach||Dave Wannstedt|
|Home field||Pro Player Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Colts) 23–17 (OT)
Lost Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 27–0
The 2000 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League. Dave Wannstedt was named the fourth head coach in franchise history on January 16, 2000, the same day that Jimmy Johnson resigned. Prior to the season, Dan Marino retired after 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Jay Fiedler, who left the Jacksonville Jaguars, succeeded Marino as starting quarterback. Additionally, Damon Huard remained a backup quarterback and started for Fiedler in one game during the season.
Although Marino was no longer around, the Dolphins hoped to improve from the 9–7 output in the previous season. The Dolphins began the season strong, with a 6–2 record halfway through. Both losses were by small margins. The second loss occurred during a road game dubbed the Monday Night Miracle, against the New York Jets, which scored 30 points in the fourth quarter and then defeated the Dolphins by a field goal in overtime. The Dolphins fared only slightly worse in the second half of the season, winning five games and losing three. The team finished with a record of 11–5, their best record since 1992. This was the Dolphins fourth consecutive winning season and the first time the club won the AFC East title since 1994.
Additionally, this was the Dolphins fourth consecutive season in which they advanced to the playoffs. In the wildcard round, they defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 23–17 in overtime. However, the Dolphins were blown out 27–0 by the Oakland Raiders the following week. As of the 2016 season, this was the last season that Miami has won a playoff game, making it 16 straight years that the Miami Dolphins have failed to win in the playoffs. Seven players were selected for the Pro Bowl.
|2000 Miami Dolphins draft|
|2||53||Todd Wade||OT||Ole Miss|
|4||117||Deon Dyer||RB||North Carolina|
|5||152||Arturo Freeman||DB||South Carolina|
|6||167||Ernest Grant||DT||Arkansas Pine-Bluff|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
|2000 Miami Dolphins roster|
|2000 Miami Dolphins staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|2||August 10||Tampa Bay||Win||15||13||1–1|
|3||August 21||Green Bay||Win||17||14||2–1|
|4||August 25||New Orleans||Win||22||17||3–1|
|1||September 3, 2000||Seattle Seahawks||W 23–0||
|2||September 10, 2000||at Minnesota Vikings||L 13–7||
|3||September 17, 2000||Baltimore Ravens||W 19–6||
|4||September 24, 2000||New England Patriots||W 10–3||
|5||October 1, 2000||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 31–16||
|6||October 8, 2000||Buffalo Bills||W 22–13||
|8||October 23, 2000||at New York Jets||L 40–37 (OT)||
|9||October 29, 2000||Green Bay Packers||W 28–20||
|10||November 5, 2000||at Detroit Lions||W 23–8||
|11||November 12, 2000||at San Diego Chargers||W 17–7||
|12||November 19, 2000||New York Jets||L 20–3||
|13||November 26, 2000||at Indianapolis Colts||W 17–14||
|14||December 3, 2000||at Buffalo Bills||W 33–6||
|15||December 10, 2000||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L 16–13||
|16||December 17, 2000||Indianapolis Colts||L 20–13||
|17||December 24, 2000||at New England Patriots||W 27–24||
Jay Fiedler started as quarterback in the first Miami Dolphins season opener without Dan Marino since 1983. Fiedler threw for 134 yards, completing 15 out of 24 passes, with no turnovers. In contrast, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna was intercepted four times and lost a fumble. Two of the four interceptions were caught by cornerback Sam Madison. Overall, Seattle had six turnovers. Kitna completed 6 out of 13 passes for only 54 yards, before being benched early in the third quarter due to poor performance and being replaced by Brock Huard, brother of Damon Huard. Dolphins running back Lamar Smith rushed for 145 yards. Winning 23–0, Miami caused Seattle to have their first shutout defeat since their 0–19 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders in October 1992. Miami opened the season with a record of 1–0 for the ninth consecutive year.
Miami traveled to Minneapolis for their first road game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings on September 10. Although Minnesota dominated Miami in terms of yardage, the game remained close throughout because mistakes by both teams kept them of out the opponent's end zone until the fourth quarter. Fiedler threw for 175 yards, completing only 12 of 31 passes and throwing an interception to Keith Thibodeaux in the third quarter. Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper threw for 355 yards and completed 23-for-37, but had three interceptions. Minnesota scored first during the first quarter with a field goal by Gary Anderson. However, neither team would record another score until the fourth quarter. After another field goal from Anderson and a touchdown pass from Culpepper to Randy Moss, the score was 13–0 in favor of Minnesota with 1:56 left in the game. Miami finally scored with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Fiedler to Thurman Thomas with barely a minute on the clock. After that, the Dolphins attempted an onside kick, but the ball was recovered by Orlando Thomas of the Vikings, effectively ending the game with a 13–7 win for Minnesota. Miami fell to 1–1.
The Dolphins returned to Miami to play against the Baltimore Ravens on September 17. Fiedler threw 11-for-16 with 160 yards, including a touchdown pass and an interception. In the second half, all seven of his pass attempts were successful. Miami scored in each quarter, with a field goal from Olindo Mare in the first and second periods and a pair of touchdowns by Lamar Smith in the third and fourth quarters. Following the fourth quarter touchdown, Mare missed the extra point, only the second time in his 99 career attempts. On the Ravens team, quarterback Tony Banks threw for 189 yards with 19 out of 31 completions, but was sacked six times, intercepted once, and fumbled twice. Facing constant pressure from the Miami defense, Banks was often forced to throw short passes. Unable to reach the Miami end zone, Baltimore had to settle for two field goals from Matt Stover, one each in the third and fourth quarters. Although the Ravens had four more totals yards than the Dolphins, Miami was able to win the game with a score of 19–6. The Dolphins improved to 2–1.
During halftime, a 19-minute ceremony was held to honor Dan Marino and retire number 13. The ceremony was begun by former quarterback Bob Griese and included video highlights of Marino's career with the Dolphins. Former head coach Don Shula inducted Marino into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. Miami Dolphins president Eddie Jones then presented a life-size statue of Marino on the grounds of Pro Player Stadium. As a result of the ceremony, more than 90 Dolphins alumni were in attendance at this game.
In the Dolphins first division rivalry game of the season, the New England Patriots traveled to play Miami at home on September 24. Neither team performed exceptionally well in terms of passing, rushing, or scoring. Fiedler completed only 50% of his passes, throwing 12-for-24 with 153 yards, which included one touchdown and two interceptions. The first interception, which occurred late in the first quarter, would allow New England to score first, with a field goal by Adam Vinatieri early in the second quarter. Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe had a slightly worse pass completion percentage than Fiedler and was 16-for-33 with 161 yards at the end of the game. With New England leading 3–0 at 14:43 left in the second quarter, Miami answered with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Fiedler to Bert Emanuel about three minutes later. The Dolphins reinforced their lead with a field goal from Mare with only seconds left in the second quarter. Neither Miami nor New England would score for the rest of the game. The Patriots attempted to force overtime or win the game with a touchdown at just 1:08 left in the fourth quarter. However, the pass from Bledsoe to Eric Bjornson on fourth down at the Miami 5-yard line was incomplete, turning the ball over to Miami with barely a minute on the clock. Thus, the Dolphins won 10–3 and improved to 3–1. The 2000 Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to allow only one touchdown in the first four games and had only allowed 22 points by the end of this game.
In week 5, Miami traveled to Cincinnati for a match-up against the Bengals on October 1. Fiedler passed 155 yards and completed 14 out of 21, but threw an interception. He also rushed for 45 yards. Bengal quarterback Akili Smith completed 20 out of 38 passes for 178 yards, while rushing for 43 yards. Additionally, Corey Dillon of the Bengals rushed for 110 yards. During the game, Cincinnati held Miami scoreless at 13–0 until near the end of the second quarter. The Dolphins proceeded to score five times between from late in the second quarter to early in the fourth quarter, beginning with a field goal by Mare. As the clock ran out during the second quarter, Jason Taylor was able to recover a fumble by Cincinnati and return the ball for a touchdown, ending the first half with a score of 13–10 in favor of Cincinnati. Miami scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, the first an 18-yard rush by Lamar Smith and the second a 7-yard pass from Fiedler to Oronde Gadsden. The Dolphins scored another touchdown in early in the fourth quarter, also a reception from Fiedler to Gadsden. About midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals finally scored again with a field goal by Neil Rackers. Cincinnati was unable to stage a comeback, with Miami winning 31–16. The Dolphins record improved to 4–1.
In week 6, the Miami Dolphins fought the Buffalo Bills at home on October 8. Thurman Thomas, who played for the Bills from 1988–1999, competed against his former team in this game. Fiedler completed 14 out of 24 passes with a total of 142 yards. Rob Johnson, who started this game as quarterback for the Bills, threw 178 yards and went only 11-for-26 on pass completions. Johnson was sacked five times, losing 40 yards. After the tendinitis in Johnson's throwing elbow flared up, he was replaced by Doug Flutie late in the fourth quarter. Flutie would complete three out of six passes for 44 yards, but he was sacked and intercepted once. After both teams each scored a field goal in the first quarter, Miami proceeded to score 12 points before Buffalo scored again in the fourth quarter. Buffalo narrowed the score to 15–13 in favor of Miami and attempted to take the lead late in the final period. However, Bills running back Sammy Morris on Buffalo's 16 yard line, with the ball being recovered by Madison and returned for a touchdown. Flutie being intercepted with 2:00 left on the clock prevented Buffalo from scoring again. Miami won 22–13 and improved to 5–1. This was the first regular season game since week 2 in 1998 that the Dolphins defeated the Bills.
Coming off of bye week, the Dolphins traveled to the Giants Stadium to challenge division rival New York Jets on October 23, a Monday Night Football game. Fiedler passed for 250 yards, going 16-for-35 in completions. However, he was intercepted three times. Lamar Smith rushed for 155 yards on 23 attempts, one of which was 68 yards. Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde completed 36 out of 59 completions for 378 yards, but was also intercepted three times. The Dolphins dominated the game for the first three quarters. The Jets did not obtain a first down until 8:04 in the second quarter, by which time the Dolphins already scored 20 points, including two touchdowns and two field goals. Late in the second quarter, New York score a touchdown with a pass from Testaverde to Wayne Chrebet, but Miami responded with another field goal as the first half of the game ended. With 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Dolphins scored another touchdown.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Miami led New York 30–7. The Jets then proceeded to quickly close the 23-point deficit throughout the fourth quarter. By 3:55 left in the game, New York tied the game at 30–30, after scoring three touchdowns and a field goal, with a failed two-point conversion. About 22 seconds later, Miami scored a touchdown to re-take the lead. However, New York answered with another touchdown with 42 seconds left in regulation. Neither team scored again and the game went into overtime because of a 37–37 tie. In the fourth quarter, the Dolphins had only 1 first down versus 20 for the Jets, which was more than 15 other NFL teams had in their entire game in week 8. During overtime, Fiedler was intercepted about one minute in by Marcus Coleman, but Coleman fumbled and Miami recovered. However, Fiedler was soon intercepted again by Coleman; this time, the Dolphins were successfully overturned. The Jets then drove the ball to Miami's 23 yard line. With 8:13 left in overtime, John Hall kicked a field goal, ending the game 40–37 in favor of New York. The Dolphins fell to 5–2.
Miami returned home to play against the Green Bay Packers on October 29. Fiedler went 16-for-25, throwing for 158 yards. Packers quarterback Brett Favre threw 194 yards, completing 21 out of 34 passes. The Packers scored first and by early in the second quarter, they had accumulated 17 points, with two touchdowns and a field goal. Green Bay did not allow Miami any points until 1:15 left in the second quarter, at which time the Dolphins scored a touchdown by a 1-yard rush from Fiedler. In the third quarter, Miami scored three touchdowns, one of which occurred shortly after a fake punt by Larry Izzo, while another was a punt return by Jeff Ogden. Holding Green Bay scoreless in the third quarter, Miami took the lead with a score of 28–17. The Packers scored again in the fourth quarter with a field goal to cut the Dolphins lead to 8 points. However, Green Bay was overturned twice on their final two possessions, first a Brock Marion interception of Favre and later Favre fumbled after being sacked by Trace Armstrong, with the ball being recovered by Kenny Mixon. The game ended with a score of 28–20 in favor of Miami. The Dolphins improved to 6–2.
Miami traveled to Detroit for a game against the Lions on November 5. Fiedler threw 112 yards on 13 out of 18 successful completions. Lions quarterback Charlie Batch went 8-for-16 on pass completions for 95 yards. However, Batch was injured in the third quarter and replaced by Stoney Case, who successfully threw 7 out of 11 passes for 74 yards, with one interception. Miami dominated throughout the game. After Jason Hanson of the Lions kicked off, it was returned to about midfield by Autry Denson. Smith then ran for 46 yards, scoring a touchdown on the first play. Mare's onside kick was successfully recovered by Terrance Shaw of the Dolphins. Miami capitalized on this and scored another touchdown, leaving Detroit losing 0–14 near the middle of the first quarter, having yet to make a single play. In the second and third quarters, Mare kicked a total of three field goals. The Dolphins held the Lions scoreless until early in the fourth quarter, when Detroit made a touchdown and a subsequent 2-point conversion. Neither team scored again in the fourth quarter, causing the game to end 23–8 in favor of Miami. The Dolphins improved to 7–2.
Miami traveled to San Diego for a match-up against the Chargers on November 12. Fiedler threw 13–for–20 for 160 yards. Miami accumulated 84 rushing yards, with 69 yards from Lamar Smith. San Diego used three quarterbacks. The starter, Moses Moreno, completed 9 out of 21 passes for 67 yards and was intercepted twice, before leaving the game early in the third quarter due to injury. Ryan Leaf also went 9-for-21, throwing 92 yards and was intercepted once. He remained in the game until being injured late in the fourth quarter. Jim Harbaugh then played, successfully throwing 2 out of 5 passes for 19 yards, as well as one interception. Thus, this game was the first since 1993 where three quarterbacks for a team threw interceptions in one game. The Dolphins led in scoring throughout the game, beginning with a touchdown as a result of a 2-yard run from Smith early in the first quarter. Smith rushed 6 yards for another touchdown early in the second quarter. Miami's defense limited San Diego to only 55 offense yards in the first half. In the third quarter, the Dolphins scored again with a field goal by Mare. The Chargers finally scored early in the fourth quarter with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Leaf to Fred McCrary. However, San Diego was unable to complete a comeback and the game ended with a 17–7 win for Miami. The Dolphins improved to 8–2.
After two weeks on the road, Miami returned to Pro Player Stadium for another game against the New York Jets on November 19. Just 12 seconds into the game, Fiedler was sacked by Mo Lewis and suffered an injury that forced him to head for the sideline. Fiedler was replaced by Damon Huard, who went 16–for–29 for 128 yards, but also threw three interceptions. Vinny Testaverde of the Jets performed similarly, completing 14 out of 29 passes for 113 yards and being intercepted twice. The contest remained close until the fourth quarter. In the first half, New York scored two field goals, while Miami had one, ending the half 6–3 for the Jets. Neither team gained points in the third quarter. About halfway through the fourth quarter, New York scored a touchdown with an 18-yard rush from Bernie Parmalee, a former Dolphin. With another rushing touchdown from Parmalee a few minutes later, the Jets sealed their victory with a score of 20–3. Prior to this game, Miami allowed only three touchdowns at home during the 2000 season. New York limited Miami to only 200 yards of offense. The Dolphins fell to 8–3.
|Wildcard||December 30, 2000||Indianapolis Colts||W 23–17||
|Division||January 6, 2001||at Oakland Raiders||L 27–0||
Miami advanced to the playoffs after winning the AFC East title. Because of the seed positions, the Dolphins played a wildcard game against division rival Indianapolis Colts at Pro Player Stadium on December 30. Fiedler threw for 185 yards, going 19-for-34. However, he threw three interceptions, all in the first half of the game. Lamar Smith rushed for 209 yards on 40 attempts, a club record held until Ricky Williams rushed for 42 attempts against the Buffalo Bills during week 3 in 2003. The Dolphins won 23–17 in overtime. This is the most recent post-season win for the Miami Dolphins.
|(3) Miami Dolphins||11||5||0||.688||323||226||W1|
|(6) Indianapolis Colts||10||6||0||.625||429||326||W3|
|New York Jets||9||7||0||.563||321||321||L3|
|New England Patriots||5||11||0||.313||276||338||L1|