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SB # XVII — Wash. 27, Miami 17


Super Bowl XVII was played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1982 season. The Redskins defeated the Dolphins by the score of 27–17 to win their first Super Bowl. The game was played on January 30, 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

This Super Bowl came at the end of a season that was significantly shortened by a players' strike. Teams ended up only playing nine regular season games, and the league conducted a special 16-team, four-round playoff tournament where divisions were ignored in the seeding. The Redskins had an NFC-best 8–1 regular season record, while the Dolphins finished at 7–2. Both teams advanced through the first three postseason rounds to Super Bowl XVII. The game then became a rematch of Super Bowl VII, also played in the Los Angeles area at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ten years before, where the Dolphins completed their 17–0 perfect season at the Redskins' expense by a score of 14–7. This was also the second Super Bowl to rematch teams, the first being Super Bowl XIII.

The Redskins scored 17 unanswered points in the second half and gained a Super Bowl record 276 yards on the ground, while holding the Dolphins to just 47 offensive plays for 176 total yards, 76 of which came on a single play.[5] Nevertheless, Miami built a 17–10 halftime lead with Jimmy Cefalo's 76-yard touchdown catch and Fulton Walker's 98-yard kickoff return.[6] The turning point in the game came with 10:10 remaining: facing fourth down and 1-yard to go at the Dolphins' 43-yard line, and trailing 17–13, Washington running back John Riggins broke through the Miami defense and ran into the end zone for a touchdown to take the lead. Wide receiver Charlie Brown then added an insurance touchdown with his 6-yard scoring reception.

Riggins was named Super Bowl MVP, finishing the game with 2 Super Bowl records: the most rushing yards in a Super Bowl game (166), and the most rushing attempts (38). His performance was also his fourth 100-yard rushing game in a row in a postseason game, a postseason record. He was the first player from an NFC team to rush for 100 yards in a Super Bowl. Riggins also recorded a reception for 15 yards, giving him more total yards than the entire Miami team.