Marino rallies Dolphins

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 10, 2000

The Associated Press

Thanks to some old-time heroics from Dan Marino, all three NFL teams from Florida will be in the playoffs next weekend.

Monday, January 10, 2000

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Thanks to some old-time heroics from Dan Marino, all three NFL teams from Florida will be in the playoffs next weekend.

Marino guided Miami on an 85-yard drive to J.J. Johnson’s 2-yard touchdown run with 4:48 left at Seattle, giving the Dolphins a 20-17 victory. A superb defensive effort in which Trace Armstrong had three of the team’s six sacks also was decisive.

That sent the Dolphins (10-7), the lowest AFC qualifier, to Jacksonville (14-2) on Saturday.

Tampa, the other Florida team, and Jacksonville had a bye this week. The Buccaneers (11-5) are at home against Washington, also on Saturday.

Minnesota beat Dallas 27-10 in the early game Sunday to secure a spot at St. Louis in the next round. The Vikings (11-6) and Rams (13-3) will play next Sunday, followed by Tennessee, fresh from the Music City Miracle, at Indianapolis.

The Titans (14-3) stunned Buffalo 22-16 on a desperation lateral-kickoff runback for a touchdown with three seconds remaining.

Washington advanced with a 27-13 win over Detroit.

Dolphins 20, Seahawks 17

Marino was 4-for-7 for 84 yards on the decisive drive, including completions of 23 yards to Tony Martin on third-and-17 from his 8, and a 24-yard third-down completion to Oronde Gadsden at the 5, setting up Johnson’s game-winner. It was Miami’s first postseason road victory since 1972.

”It’s a big win for this team to come all the way to Seattle and play in front of a hostile crowd,” said Marino, 38 and the NFL career passing leader. ”It’s as loud as it gets here in the Kingdome. We just had to be patient.”

It won’t be loud in the Kingdome anymore – it’s being torn down.

Miami’s defense certainly quieted the crowd with its sacks.

”I’ve had a bunch of twos,” the 34-year-old Armstrong said. ”But not many like this.”

Seattle, which was 8-2, finished 9-8. It got an 85-yard kickoff runback for a TD by Charlie Rogers.

Vikings 27, Cowboys 10

Jeff George got his first postseason win in his second playoff game in 10 years.

George threw TD passes of 26 yards to Robert Smith, 58 yards to Randy Moss and 5 yards to Cris Carter. Smith, capitalizing on Dallas’ concerns with the passing game, rushed for 140 yards, breaking his team playoff record of 124 yards set last year.

”It’s a great feeling to be able to go out there and run the ball as effectively as we did,” Smith said. ”It is what we love to do, myself and the linemen included. Those guys love running the football and I obviously love having the ball in my hands.”

Dallas dropped four of its last six and wound up 8-9.

”Eight-and-nine, mediocre, up and down, nothing consistent, consistently bad at times,” said Emmitt Smith, who gained 99 yards to give him the career playoff rushing record, surpassing Franco Harris.