- Super Bowl XVII
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January 30, 1983
stadium = Rose Bowl Stadium
city = Pasadena, California
attendance = 103,667
odds = Dolphins by 3
John Riggins, Running back
Bob Jani Productionspresents "KaleidoSUPERscope" with the Los Angeles Super Drill Team
Dick Enbergand Merlin Olsen
rating = 48.6
share = 69
commercial = $400,000
last = XVI
next = XVIII
Super Bowl XVII was an
American footballgame played on January 30, 1983[This was the latest date a Super Bowl was played until Super Bowl XXII, which was played on January 31, 1988.] at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Californiato decide the National Football League(NFL) champion following the 1982 regular season. The National Football Conference(NFC) champion Washington Redskins(12-1) defeated the American Football Conference(AFC) champion Miami Dolphins(10-3), 27–17, as the Redskins scored 17 unanswered points in the second half and gained a Super Bowlrecord 276 yards on the ground, while holding the Dolphins to just 47 offensive plays for 176 total yards, 76 of which came on a single play.
Washington Running back
John Rigginswas named Super Bowl MVP. He finished the game with 2 Super Bowl records: the most rushing yards in a Super Bowl game (166), and the most rushing attempts (38). His performance was also his fourth 100 yard rushing game in a row in a postseason game, a postseason record. Riggins also recorded a reception for 15 yards, giving him more total yards than the entire Miami team. [This was the second time a single player (In this case Riggins) gained more total yards than his oponnent's entire team in a Super Bowl. Franco Harrisalso gained more yards than the entire Minnesota offense in Super Bowl IX.]
This game came at the end of a season that was significantly shortened by a players' strike. The game was a rematch of
Super Bowl VIIten years before, where the Dolphins completed their 17–0 perfect season at the Redskins' expense by a score of 14–7.
NFL players' strike
A 57-day long players' strike reduced the 1982 regular season from a 16-game schedule to 9. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament. Division standings were ignored. Eight teams from each conference were seeded 1-8 based on their regular season records.
The modified schedule forced the league to extend the regular season into January for the first time. After the 57-day strike, the NFL extended the regular season one weekend (pushing the end of the regular season back from December 26 to January 2), moving back the start of the playoffs and eliminating the week off for the first time since
Super Bowl IV.
The strike-shortened season impacted 4 teams that made the playoffs during the 1981 regular season. The
San Francisco 49ers, winners of Super Bowl XVI, suffered a 3-6 record. The Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the Philadelphia Eaglesdid not qualify for the playoffs either. The Cleveland Brownsand Detroit Lionsqualified for the playoffs despite 4-5 records, the only sub-.500 teams to reach the NFL playoffs.
Super Bowl XVII was the Redskins' first Super Bowl victory, and their second Super Bowl appearance, since they were defeated by the Dolphins, 14-7, in
Super Bowl VII. This was the second rematch in Super Bowl history, as the two teams met in Super Bowl VII. Washington finished the strike-shortened regular season with an 8-1 record, the best in the NFC, and led the NFL in fewest points allowed (128).
Joe Theismannfinished the season as the top rated passer in the NFC, completing 161 out of 252 (63 percent) of his passes for 2,033 yards and 13 touchdowns, while also rushing for 150 yards. The main weapons in the passing game were wide receivers Charlie Brown (32 receptions, 690 yards, and 8 touchdowns) and Art Monk(35 receptions, 447 yards, and 1 touchdown). Running back John Rigginsled the Redskins running game, rushing for 553 yards and 3 touchdowns during the regular season. Much of Washington's success on offense was also attributed to their offensive line, affectionately known as "The Hogs."
Washington also had impact players on their
special teams. Mark Moseleybecame the first placekickerever to win the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, making 20 out of 21 field goals and all 18 of his extra point attempts. Kick returner Mike Nelmsalso gained a combined total of 809 yards returning kickoffs and punts.
The Redskins defense was led by 6-foot-7 295-pound defensive tackle
Dave Butz, who anchored the line, along with defensive ends Dexter Manleyand Tony McGee, who each recorded 6.5 sacks. Washington secondary was led by defensive backs Vernon Deanand Jeris White, who each recorded 3 interceptions.
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 Bowldefensive tackle Bob Baumhower, led the league in fewest total yards allowed (2,312) and fewest passing yards allowed (1,027). Linebacker A.J. Duhewas extremely effective at blitzing and in pass coverage. And the Dolphins secondary, consisting of defensive backs Don McNeal, Gerald Smalland 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 of just 17 receptions, an average of 20.9 yards per catch. Wide receiver Duriel Harrisalso 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 Franklinwas the team's top rusher with 701 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back Tony Nathanrushed 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 Kuechenbergand Ed Newman.
The Dolphins advanced through the special 16-team playoffs by defeating the
New England Patriots, 28-13, the San Diego Chargers, 34-13, and the New York Jets, 14-0, to earn a trip to their fourth Super Bowl in team history.
Meanwhile, the Redskins beat the
Detroit Lions, 31-7, the Minnesota Vikings, 21-7, and the Dallas Cowboys, 31–17.
Before the playoffs, the 33-year old Riggins told coach
Joe Gibbs"I'm really getting down the road. I don't have many of these left. I've been out two weeks and I'm ready. Give me the ball." [http://espn.go.com/page2/s/list/NFLplayoffperform.html] Gibbs did just that, and Riggins ended up rushing for a combined total of 444 yards and 3 touchdowns during those playoff victories
Another key contributor in the playoff games was backup wide receiver
Alvin Garrett, who replaced Monk after he suffered a leg injury that kept him out of the entire postseason. Although he only recorded one reception during the regular season, Garrett caught a combined total of 13 receptions for 231 yards and 4 touchdowns in Washington's 3 playoff games.
uper Bowl pregame news
Entering Super Bowl XVII, the Dolphins were favored to win the game, primarily because of their "Killer Bees" defense, which had recorded 12 interceptions in their 3 playoffs games, including 5 each in the final two. Another reason why the Redskins were the underdogs was because they had 26 players on their 45-man roster who had been signed by the team as
free agents, including 14 who had never even been drafted by an NFL team.
Television and entertainment
The game was televised in the
United Statesby NBC, with Dick Enberghandling the play-by-playduties and color commentator Merlin Olsenin the broadcast booth. Len Bermanand his "NFL '82" castmates, Mike Adamle, Ahmad Rashadand Pete Axthelmanchored the pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. NBC's national Nielsen ratingof 48.6 was the second-highest for a Super Bowl broadcast, trailing only the 49.1 garnered by Super Bowl XVIon CBS the year before.
Los Angeles Unified School DistrictAll-City Band played during the pregame ceremonies. Later, actress Leslie Easterbrookperformed the national anthem.
The coin toss ceremony featured Pro Football Hall of Fame running back
Elroy Hirsch. In an infamous incident, Dolphins captain Bob Kuechenbergcalled "tails," and the coin came down "tails." However, referee Jerry Markbreitbecame confused by the similar design of both sides of the coin and incorrectly thought "heads" had landed. After a short discussion with his head linesman, Dale Hamer, Markbreit corrected his mistake before the kickoff.
The halftime show was produced by
Bob Jani Productionsand titled "KaleidoSUPERscope", and featured the Los Angeles Super Drill Team.
Following the game, NBC aired the premiere episode of "
The A-Team", beginning the tradition of the game's host network airing programming after the game.
The game was shown live in the UK for the first time when
Channel 4, Britain's newest channel (launched 2 November 1982) covered it.
Miami scored first on their second possession with a 76-yard touchdown pass from quarterback
David Woodleyto wide receiver Jimmy Cefalo. Then after forcing the Redskins to punt, Woodley attempted a deep pass again, but was hit by Washington defensive end Dexter Manleycausing him to fumble, and defensive tackle Dave Butzrecovered the ball. The turnover led to Redskins kicker Mark Moseley's 31-yard field goal to cut the lead 7–3 two plays into the second quarter.
Miami kick returner
Fulton Walkerreturned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to the Dolphins 47-yard line. From there, the Dolphins advanced to the Redskins 3-yard line. But Woodley's pass fell incomplete on third down, so Miami had to settle for kicker Uwe von Schamann's 20-yard field goal to increase their lead to 10-3 with 6 minutes left in the half. Although the drive was only 50 yards long, it consisted of 13 plays and took 8:39 off the clock.
Aided by a 27-yard completion from quarterback
Joe Theismannto tight end Rick Walker, four runs and a 15-yard reception by running back John Riggins, and a 12-yard run from Theismann himself, the Redskins marched 80 yards in 11 plays to score on wide receiver Alvin Garrett's 4-yard touchdown reception.
Garrett's touchdown tied the game 10-10 with less than 2 minutes left in the half, but the tie did not last long: Fulton Walker returned the ensuing kickoff a Super Bowl record 98 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 17–10 lead. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in Super Bowl history.
A penalty on the ensuing kickoff forced Washington to start their next drive at their own 7-yard line, but they managed to get to the 28 on their first 4 plays. Then a pass interference penalty on defensive back
Lyle Blackwoodon the next play moved the ball to the Miami 42-yard line. Immediately after Blackwood's penalty, wide receiver Charlie Brown's 24-yard reception advanced the Redskins to the Dolphins 16-yard line. After calling their final timeout with 14 second left, Washington made one last attempt to score a touchdown before trying a field goal. Theismann's subsequent pass was caught by Garrett, but he was tackled at the 9-yard line by defensive back Glenn Blackwood, preventing any field goal attempt as the Redskins were unable to stop the clock before time expired in the half.
Both teams opened the second half trading punts. But after driving to their own 47-yard line on their second possession of the third period, the Redskins managed to fool the Dolphins with a reverse play. Riggins took a hand off from Theismann, who then handed the ball off to Garrett, who was running in the opposite direction. The play worked perfectly as Garrett ran the ball 44 yards to Miami's 9-yard line before being tackled. But the Dolphins defense only allowed Washington to advance to the 3-yard line on their next three plays, and so the Redskins had to settle for another field goal from Moseley to cut their deficit to 17–13.
Later in the third period, Theismann was intercepted by Miami linebacker A.J. Duhe at the Redskins 47-yard line. After the turnover, the Dolphins reached the 37-yard line, and Woodley tried to pass the ball deep to Cefalo again. But Washington defensive back
Vernon Deandeflected the ball and safety Mark Murphy made a one-handed interception at the 5-yard line as he was falling to the ground. After the Redskins got a first down, Theismann had a pass blocked at the line of scrimmage by Kim Bokamper. Bokamper nearly intercepted the pass in the Redskins' end zone but for a timely move by Theismann to knock the ball out of Bokamper's hands. The Redskins then drove to Miami's 43-yard line, and once again tried to fool Miami with a trick play, this time a flea flicker. Riggins took a pitch from Theismann, ran up to the line of scrimmage, and then pitched the ball back to Theismann who then attempted to pass it. But this time Miami was not fooled, and Lyle Blackwood made a diving interception at the 1-yard line. (This was the first Super Bowl ever to have 3 consecutive drives end with interceptions).
However, Blackwood's interception turned out to be somewhat beneficial for the Redskins, as it pinned Miami back at their own 1. The Dolphins could only gain 3 yards with their next three plays, and Washington ended up getting the ball back with great field position on their own 48-yard line. The Redskins ran three plays to reach Miami's 43-yard line, but then faced a fourth down and one to go. Instead of punting, the Redskins decided to gamble and attempt to get the first down with a run from Riggins. But Riggins did a lot more than pick up the first down. Coach Joe Gibbs called his trademark play I-Right 70 Chip, starting TE Clint Didier in motion towards the right, then reversing motion back to the left. Theismann handed to Riggins who broke a tackle from Miami cornerback
Don McNealand took off for a 43-yard touchdown run, giving Washington their first lead of the game, 20–17, with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the game. McNeal, who was assigned to cover Didier on the play, slipped briefly as Didier changed direction. The Redskins ran the play to the left, behind Didier and FB Otis Wonsley, and Riggins ran over McNeal to score the touchdown. Although McNeal did indeed slip briefly while following Didier across the formation, it would have made little difference in the outcome of the play. Despite a valiant effort by McNeal, the 185 lb. corner could do little more than hold on briefly as he met the 240 lb. Riggins running with a full head of steam, hit him high, and slid down his body as The Diesel pulled away towards the end zone and the Redskins 1st Super Bowl victory.
Washington quickly forced Miami to punt on their next possession, and punt returner
Mike Nelms's 12-yard return gave the Redskins great field position at the Dolphins 41-yard line. The Redskins then executed 5 consecutive running plays by Riggins, consuming a lot of time off the clock and moving the ball to the 23-yard line. Then on third down, Theismann made a key pass completion to Brown to the 9-yard line. Riggins then advanced the ball to the 6-yard line with two more runs. Then after the 2-minute warning, Brown caught a touchdown pass on the next play, giving the Super Bowl title to the Redskins, 27–17.
Washington had completely dominated Miami in the second half, allowing only two first downs and no pass completions. Overall, the Dolphins gained just 9 first downs and 4 completions in the entire game. "Their way is what we called Dolphin football," said left guard
Bob Kuechenberg, the only holdover from Miami's three previous Super Bowl teams in the 1970s. "They controlled the second half and they're fitting world champions." [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/features/superbowl/archives/17/]
Woodley finished the game with just 4 out of 14 completions for 97 yards. Receiver
Duriel Harris, who recorded 2 receptions for 15 yards, was the only other Dolphins player to catch a pass in the game besides Cefalo. And after catching a 76-yard pass in the first quarter, Cefalo caught just 1 more pass for 6 yards in the entire game. Walker finished the game with 4 kickoff returns for 190 yards and a touchdown, setting Super Bowl records for most kickoff return yards and highest single game yards per return average(47.5).
Meanwhile, Theismann, the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl while wearing a single digit number (7), finished 15 out of 23 for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions. He also added 20 rushing yards on 3 carries. Brown was the Redskins leading receiver with 6 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. Nelms returned 6 punts returns for 52 yards, both Super Bowl records, and returned 2 kickoffs for 44 yards.
Overall, Washington gained 400 yards of offense, including a Super Bowl record 276 rushing yards, while limiting Miami to only 176, with just 34 yards in the second half.
*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
(From Redskins broadcaster
Frank Herzog's call used for NFL Films)
""There is the snap. He'll hand to Riggins. Good hole! He's got the first down to the 40...He's GONE! The 35, the 30, the 20. HE'S GONE, HE'S GONE!!! TOUCHDOWN, Washington Redskins!! Woo hoo!!"
Miami Washington OFFENSE
Duriel Harris82 WR Alvin Garrett89 Jon Giesler79 LT Joe Jacoby66 Bob Kuechenberg67 LG Russ Grimm68 Dwight Stephenson57 C Jeff Bostic53 Jeff Toews60 RG Fred Dean 63 Eric Laakso68 RT George Starke74 Bruce Hardy84 TE Don Warren85 Jimmy Cefalo81 WR Charlie Brown 87 David Woodley16 QB Joe Theismann7 Tony Nathan22 RB John Riggins44 Andra Franklin37 RB/TE Rick Walker88 DEFENSE Doug Betters75 LE Mat Mendenhall76 Bob Baumhower73 NT/LT Dave Butz65 Kim Bokamper58 RE/RT Darryl Grant77 Bob Brudzinski59 LOLB/RE Dexter Manley72 A.J. Duhe77 LILB/LLB Mel Kaufman55 Earnie Rhone55 RILB/MLB Neal Olkewicz52 Larry Gordon50 ROLB/RLB Rich Milot57 Gerald Small48 LCB Jeris White45 Don McNeal28 RCB Vernon Dean32 Glenn Blackwood47 SS Tony Peters23 Lyle Blackwood42 FS Mark Murphy 29
*Line Judge: Bill Reynolds
*Field Judge: Don Orr
*Side Judge: Dave Parry
1982 NFL season
NFL playoffs, 1982-83
* [http://www.superbowl.com/ Super Bowl official website]
*cite book | title=2006 NFL Record and Fact Book | publisher=Time Inc. Home Entertainment | id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5
*cite book | title=Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League | publisher=
Harper Collins| id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5
*cite book | title=The Sporting News Complete Super Bowl Book 1995 | id=ISBN 0-89204-523-X
*http://www.pro-football-reference.com - Large online database of NFL data and statistics
* [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/super/superbowl-plays.htm Super Bowl play-by-plays] from
USA Today(Last accessed September 28, 2005)
* [http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=nfl/superbowl/2005/superbowl-alltime-odds.htm All-Time Super Bowl Odds] from The Sports Network (Last accessed October 16, 2005)
*Super Bowl XVII was referenced in the 1994 Warner Bros. film . However in the movie they played against the San Francisco 49ers, which more reflects
Super Bowl XIX.
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