Miami entered Super Bowl VII seeking to make history. Don Shula's Dolphins had won all 16 regular-season and postseason games to that point--and no NFL team ever had completed a perfect season.
Still, Miami was a slight underdog against George Allen's Redskins, a savvy, veteran team known as the "Over the Hill Gang."
The Dolphins built a 14-0 lead at the half. Griese hit Howard Twilley for a 28-yard touchdown just before the first quarter ended. Then in the second period, Jim Kiick ran for 1 yard touchdown, capping a short Miami drive set up by an interception.
Meanwhile, the Miami defense, led by tackle Manny Fernandez, held the Redskins' runners in check and treated quarterback Billy Kilmer shabbily. Kilmer threw 3 interceptions, was sacked twice, and was harried continuously. Miami defensive back Jake Scott, who had two of the interceptions, was named the game's MVP.
Although the Dolphins had dominated the first half, Washington was only a break or two away. In the second half, the Redskins' Larry Brown began running for consistent gains, and Kilmer connected on several passes. But Washington missed a short field-goal attempt in the third quarter, and Miami kept the Redskins scoreless.
Then, with barely more than two minutes left, Miami's Cypriot kicker, Garo Yepremian, trotted onto the field to attempt a 42-yard field goal that would secure the Dolphins' victory.
Yepremian's kick was blocked. He picked up the rolling ball and comically tried to throw a pass. But the ball squirted out of Yepremian's hands and into the arms of Redskins defensive back Mike Bass, who raced 49 yards for a touchdown.
Trailing by a touchdown, Washington had one chance to tie after forcing a punt and taking over at its 30-yard line with no timeouts left and 1:14 on the clock. But on fourth down from the 26, Kilmer was sacked, and the Dolphins had their perfect season.