It is regarded by many to be the greatest football game ever played. The "Epic in Miami" between the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins is a game that is still talked about today. The 1981 AFC Divisional Round matchup set numerous NFL playoff records at the time and was a glimpse into the offensive future of the league.
To recap: the Chargers, led by Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts and revolutionary head coach Don Coryell, had the best offense in the entire league. Miami had one of the best defenses in the league and were one year away from making the Super Bowl.
San Diego jumped out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead. Then, in classic Chargers fashion, the Bolts allowed the Dolphins to score 17 unanswered points to make it a 24-17 game at halftime. Miami would tie the game in the second half and the two teams would trade touchdowns, eventually leading to a 38-38 overtime period.
The Chargers drove down the field in the first drive of overtime and missed a game-winning 27-yard field goal. Miami then drove down the field and the Chargers were able to block a game-winning 35-yard field goal attempt. The Chargers were able to drive back down the field, eventually nailing a 29-yard field goal to win it.
It was one of the greatest games in football history and we might be primed for another instant classic this Sunday between the LA Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
How the 2022 Chargers-Dolphins could mirror the 1981 Chargers-Dolphins Epic in Miami.
The Chargers may not have the best offensive in the league statistically like they did 41 years ago but they still can be an offensive powerhouse. With Mike Williams returning to the lineup, if Joe Lombardi simply gets out of the way then this offense can go toe-to-toe with anyone with Justin Herbert under center.
Defensively, the Chargers are one of the worst teams in the league, just like they were in 1981. Miami does not have the good defense they had 41 years ago and has a far more dynamic offense as well led by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
This game is screaming points. It's played indoors without the elements and is on turf. There are high stakes as well. This is a must-win for the Chargers that is essentially as important as a playoff game. If they lose this game, their chances of making the playoffs dramatically take a hit.
This is also a Chargers team that has not been able to protect leads while oftentimes needing to come from behind. Whether the Chargers take a three-possession lead or the Dolphins take a three-possession lead, the other team can march back into the game because of the opposing defense.
This is an offensive matchup through and through and the Chargers are the same old Chargers. Even if it looks like a 24-0 blowout in the first quarter, like 41 years ago, the Dolphins will be able to get back into the game and make it entertaining.
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Football fans are in for a real treat on Sunday Night Football in Week 14. Who knows, maybe this game will go down as the Epic in LA.