#2 - Earl Morrall - 1972 Miami Dolphins
Dolphins 1972 Record Without Morrall: 5-0
Dolphins 1972 Record With Morrall As Starter: 11-0
When most people think of the ’72 Dolphins, they think about Bob Griese at the helm. It was Griese who was the starter when the Dolphins beat the Redskins, 14-7, in the Super Bowl to cap the only perfect season in the NFL. But Morrall was the starter for the majority of games during the historical season.
In 1971, Morrall was 7-2 as a starter for the Baltimore Colts but interestingly enough, it was the Dolphins who ended their season. Morrall was intercepted three times in the Conference Championship as the Dolphins shut out the Colts, 21-0. He was unsure whether he wanted to play again the following season and when the Dolphins claimed him off waivers he told Coach Don Shula that he was leaning towards retirement. Luckily for Earl, Shula talked him out of it.
In the Dolphins' fifth game in 1972, Griese broke his right leg and Morrall was thrusted into the lineup at 38 years old. The Dolphins were led by their “no-name defense” but many had written the Dolphins off after their star QB was out for the season. Morrall managed and started every game up until the Super Bowl. But because of Earl’s poor performance in the AFC Championship Game, Shula chose to go with Griese in the Super Bowl against the Redskins. While Griese still gets all the glory, Morrall was the starter for 11 of their 17 wins on their path to perfection.