A second Super Bowl dynasty gets examined today on NFL Thursday: the Miami Dolphins. For the second time in its short history, the Super Bowl had a repeat winner, and “dynasties” would become a thing in the decades to come when examining professional football in America. The Green Bay Packers were the first; the Dolphins were next. Football fans know which team comes along soon, too!
(And if you’re wanting to, check out our first miniseries entry on this year for context.)
Super Bowl VIII MVP: Larry Csonka, FB, Miami (original, confirmed)
The Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings, 24-7, to claim a second NFL championship in a row, as the Vikings also became the first two-time loser of the Super Bowl. Miami fullback Larry Csonka was named the MVP as he ran for 145 yards on 33 carries while scoring twice, too. Overall, the Dolphins ran ball 53 times and attempted just 7 passes in this game.
In the other 20 carries, though, Miami gained just 51 yards total, so Csonka was the wrecking ball as the Dolphins committed just 1 penalty and held Minnesota to a mere 238 total yards while forcing 2 turnovers as well. It was 24-0 going into the final quarter before the Vikings scored a meaningless touchdown. Without a dominant defender this time around, it’s clear why Csonka was chosen for the award.
We agree with the hardware nod, as no one else really controlled the game like Csonka did as the Miami offense ran up 21 first downs and owned this game from start to finish. Averaging 4.4 yards per carry himself, Csonka was the primary reason for the Dolphins’ success in this one. This is just the second time in eight years we have confirmed this award, by the way.
1973 NFL ROTY: Chuck Foreman, FB, Minnesota & Wally Chambers, DT, Chicago (original); Isaac Curtis, WR, Cincinnati (revised)
We see five real contenders for this award: Minnesota FB Chuck Foreman (1,163 scrimmage yards and 6 TDs), Philadelphia Eagles tight end Charle Young (878 scrimmage yards and 7 TDs), Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Isaac Curtis (832 scrimmage yards and 9 TDs), Chicago Bears defensive tackle Wally Chambers (9 sacks) and Detroit Lions free safety Dick Jauron (4 interceptions, 208 return yards, 1 TD).
Foreman and Chambers won the respective votes at the time, but Detroit, Chicago, and Philly all finished under .500 and out of the playoffs. So this comes down to Foreman and Curtis for us. The Bengals won the AFC Central Division in a tiebreak over the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Vikings won the NFC Central by 5.5 games over Detroit. Foreman was probably the better player, but Curtis had more value here.
The Buffalo Bills finished one game behind the Steelers in the wild-card chase, so it’s logical to guess that without Curtis’ efforts, the Bengals would have missed the postseason altogether. We can’t say the same for Foreman, as he only played 12 of the 14 games as his team clearly was cruising into the postseason. We love Foreman, as evidenced here and here, but this award gets revised accordingly.