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NFL – Highlights – 1971 AFC Divisional Playoffs – Dolphins VS Chiefs – Part 1


In the longest NFL game played prior to 1970 at 382 minutes and 40 seconds….along with the Chiefs’ last-ever game at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City…..as Miami kicker Garo Yepremian kicked the winning 37-yard field goal after 7:40 of the second overtime period.

The Chiefs opened up the scoring with Jan Stenerud’s 24-yard field goal….that is when the Chiefs defensive back Willie Lanier intercepted a pass from Bob Griese and returned it 17 yards to set up Len Dawson’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Ed Podolak….thus increasing the lead to 10–0. However, Griese rallied the Dolphins back on their next drive, completing a 23-yard pass to Paul Warfield….followed by a 16-yarder to tight end Marv Fleming on the way to Larry Csonka’s 1-yard touchdown run. …and before time ran out in the 1st half….the Dolphins defense recovered a fumble from Podolak deep in Chiefs territory….enabling Yepremian to kick a 14-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10going into halftime.

Kansas City re-took the lead in the 3rd quarter on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that took 10 minutes off the clock….ending with Jim Otis’ 1-yard run for a touchdown….but Miami responded quickly by storming right back to tie the game with a 1-yard touchdown run from Jim Kiick.  In the fourth quarter, Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti recovered a fumble to give his team a big scoring opportunity….however, Kansas City took the ball right back when safety Jim Lynch intercepted Griese’s pass on the Chiefs 9-yard line. Kansas City then stormed 91 yards….which included a 63-yard completion from Dawson to rookie receiver Elmo Wright….to re-take the lead 24–17 with a Podolak 3-yard touchdown run. Miami struck right back as Griese completed passes to Warfield for gains of 17 and 26 yards…that was before finishing the 71-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Fleming….thereby tying the game at 24 with 1:25 left in regulation. Podolak returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards to the Dolphins 22-yard line before being shoved out of bounds by Miami’s Curtis Johnson…which gave Jan Stenerud….one of the all-tiime great placekickers in NFL history and future Hall of Famer…..a chance to win the game for the Chiefs in the final minute of regulation….but he missed the field goal attempt from 31 yards….taking game into overtime….when the Chiefs took the opening kickoff of the first overtime period….and Podolak returned it to the 46-yard line….followed by Kansas City drivind into scoring range…but Stenerud’s 42-yard field goal attempt was blocked. Yepremian also attempted a 52-yard field goal later in the period, but missed. As the first overtime period came to an end, Dolphins safety Jake Scott intercepted a pass from Dawson on the Chiefs 46. But the team was unable to move the ball and had to punt. Following a Kansas City punt, Csonka’s 29-yard run set up Yepremian’s game-winning score

Podolak’s 350 all-purpose yards (8 receptions for 110 yards along with 17 carries for 85 yards, with3 kickoff returns for 154 yards and two punt returns for two yards in this game remains an NFL playoff record….and the fourth highest total in NFL history. “I don’t think any one player in a big game, a monumental game like that, had a day like Eddie Podolak had” said Chiefs coach Hank Stram after the game….plus, Chiefs running back Wendell Hayes added 100 rushing yards….while Wright caught 3 passes for 104 yards. Dolphins receiver Paul Warfield finished with 7 receptions for a career postseason high 140 yards….while Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti racked up 20 tackles. 

Any way you cut the pie….the highlights of this NFL classic provide a wonderful look back at two great teams in 1970.

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