Shula Gets 300th as Dolphins Win, 16-13 : Interconference: Coach trails only Halas on all-time list for victories and has 300-139-6 record.
Chuck Klingbeil’s first NFL touchdown helped Don Shula to his 300th NFL victory Sunday, and that, the coach says, “wasn’t in the script.”
Klingbeil, a reserve nose tackle from the Canadian Football League, recovered Don Majkowski’s fourth-quarter fumble in the end zone for the tie, and Pete Stoyanovich kicked a 31-yard field goal that lifted the Miami Dolphins past the Green Bay Packers, 16-13.
The Dolphins’ offense gained only 232 yards and extended its touchdown-less streak to six quarters. But the defense and the kicking of Stoyanovich and punter Reggie Roby were enough for Miami and the milestone.
“I’m glad it’s in the can. It won’t be one I’ll pull out and look at a lot,” said Shula, who was drenched with a cooler of ice water by his players when the game ended.
Shula’s career record is 300-139-6 (.682). He is second in victories to the late George Halas, who was 325-151-31 (.672) in 40 seasons.
The victory came on the 28th anniversary of Shula’s first NFL coaching victory in 1963, when the Baltimore Colts beat the San Francisco 49ers, 20-14.
Miami is 2-2, and Green Bay fell to 1-3.
“We’ll be a bunch of bums in the eyes of a lot of people,” Packer Coach Lindy Infante said. “We kind of gave it away.”
The pivotal play came at the start of the fourth quarter after Green Bay scored 13 consecutive points for a 13-6 lead. On second down at the two, Majkowski faded into the end zone, looked right, looked left and dropped the ball without being touched.
Klingbeil fell on it and became Miami’s unlikely hero. The 260-pound free agent acquisition is on the team only because two other nose tackles are hurt. He was delighted to be linked with Shula’s landmark victory.
“It makes it even sweeter. It makes you part of history,” Klingbeil said.
The touchdown was the first since college for Klingbeil, who grew up in Houghton, Mich.
“It was great that it came against Green Bay,” he said. “They’re from right near my hometown, and I always hated them.”
Majkowski blamed the 86-degree weather for his fumble.
“My hands were really just perspiring,” he said. “I was very wet. The ball just slipped out of my hands.”
Dan Marino’s 40-yard pass to Mark Duper on the Dolphins’ next series set up the winning kick with 8:21 left. Stoyanovich also kicked field goals of 43 and 52 yards in the first quarter.
Roby punted seven times for an average of 53 yards. He pinned Green Bay at the two before Klingbeil’s touchdown and at the five with 2:15 left. Miami then clinched the victory when Vestee Jackson recovered another Majkowski fumble at Green Bay’s 24.
Majkowski completed 19 of 36 passes for 238 yards with one interception. He was sacked five times. Marino completed 19 of 32 passes for 212 yards with one interception and three sacks. Mark Higgs, the second-leading rusher in the NFL, was held to 43 yards.