Marino’s Day Ends With Loss : AFC: He sets career passing record, but Dolphins still lose to the Patriots, 34-17.
Two deflected passes bounced New England’s way, and the Patriots spoiled Dan Marino’s record-setting day.
Marino threw for 333 yards and broke Fran Tarkenton’s NFL career record for passing yardage Sunday, but Ben Coates caught a pass deflected by a teammate for the tie-breaking score to help New England beat the Miami Dolphins, 34-17.
Marino’s last chance to tie the game ended early in the fourth quarter when he caught his own pass--his first career reception--for a six-yard loss on fourth down after the throw was deflected by Chris Slade.
Two late New England scores, one following a Marino interception, clinched the Patriots’ first victory at Joe Robbie Stadium since 1988.
“We had some good fortune today, but we played well,” Patriot Coach Bill Parcells said. “That was by far our best performance of the year.”
New England improved to 4-6. Miami fell to 6-4, one game behind first-place Buffalo in the AFC East.
“We had high expectations coming into today,” Miami Coach Don Shula said. “We felt healthy and we were playing well, but we didn’t do it.”
Marino completed 27 of 37 passes and threw for two scores, but he was intercepted twice and lost a fumble on a sack to set up Coates’ eight-yard score. Bernie Kosar replaced Marino for the final three minutes of the game.
New England rookie Curtis Martin rushed for 142 yards against the NFL’s second-best run defense.
“Early in the week I said he wasn’t in the same class as Marshall Faulk,” Miami defensive end Jeff Cross said. “Ask me about him now.”
Matt Bahr kicked two field goals, including a 55-yarder, the longest of his 17-year pro career.
“It’s like a pitcher batting,” Bahr said. “No one expects you to hit it, so you just swing hard.”
The kick followed Dave Meggett’s 62-yard kickoff return with 14 seconds left. An ill-advised timeout by Marino one play before the kickoff gave New England time to score.
Drew Bledsoe threw two touchdown passes, increasing his total this season to five. A 47-yarder to Vincent Brisby--Bledsoe’s longest completion of the year--gave New England a 17-10 lead in the third quarter.
Later in the period came the scoring pass that put the Patriots ahead to stay. On third down from the Miami eight, Bledsoe threw over the middle to Meggett at the four, and the ball slipped through his hands to Coates, who was a yard deep in the end zone to give New England a 24-17 lead.
Miami tried to come back, driving to the New England 29. But on fourth down, Slade batted Marino’s pass back to the quarterback, and he was immediately tackled for a loss by Willie McGinest.
Marino, who threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Bernie Parmalee in the second quarter, has thrown for 47,299 yards in 13 seasons. Tarkenton threw for 47,003 yards in 18 years.
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A look at some of the numbers behind Dan Marino’s records.
* MARINO’S RECORDS
Yards (Season): 5,084
400+ Yard Games: 12
4,000+ Yard Seasons: 6
Touchdowns (Season): 48
* MARINO MISCELLANY
Dan Marino’s career total of 47,299 yards passing includes:
--521 yards against the New York Jets in 1988, the third-best performance in NFL history.
--8,475 yards to Mark Duper, first among the 54 players to catch a pass from Marino.
--85 yards to Duper, in 1983 and 1986, the longest completions of Marino’s career.
--6,372 yards against the New York Jets, his highest against any team.
--90 yards against the L.A. Raiders on Sept. 9, 1983, his lowest total in any game.