American Football Database
The Clock Play
1 2 3 4 Total
Miami Dolphins 0 0 14 14 14
New York Jets 3 7 14 0 17
Date November 27, 1994
Stadium Giants Stadium
Location East Rutherford, New Jersey
Network NBC
Announcers Marv Albert and Paul Maguire

The Clock Play aka The Fake Spike Game refers to a National Football League game that took place on November 27, 1994 (Week 12) between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets[1] that featured one of the most audacious finishes in league history. The play was devised by quarterbacks Dan Marino and Bernie Kosar, the latter being a backup for Marino at Miami at the time.


The game itself pitted the 7-4 Dolphins against the 6-5 Jets; entering this game the Dolphins and Jets led the AFC East, but all five teams in the division were within two games of the division lead; the Bills had fallen to 6-6 following a Thanksgiving Day loss in Detroit while the Patriots had begun a late-season surge following victories over the Vikings and San Diego and were 5-6 facing the 5-6 Colts that same Sunday. The Jets were coming off a victory at Minnesota while the Dolphins had suffered back-to-back losses to Chicago and in Pittsburgh.

The Jets raced to 17-0 lead before the Dolphins got on the board on Dan Marino's touchdown to Mark Ingram . The Jets scored again on Johnny Mitchell's touchdown catch before Marino found Ingram again and then completed a two-point try to Irving Fryar. In the fourth Boomer Esiason was intercepted for the first time; this set up a third Marino-to-Ingram score. The Dolphins blitzed Esiason and Tim Bowens forced three fumbles recovered by the Jets; this forced a Jets punt, but O.J. McDuffie fumbled the punt to the Jets. The Jets drove to the Miami 38 with six minutes remaining but Esiason was intercepted again. The Jets forced another Dolphins punt, but with 2:34 to go J.B. Brown of the Dolphins picked off Esiason again.

With 22 seconds remaining in regulation and trailing 24-21, the Dolphins had the ball at the Jets' 8-yard line with only one timeout. Running to the line of scrimmage, Marino yelled "Clock! Clock! Clock!" and motioned that he was going to spike the ball to stop the clock and set up an attempt at a game-tying field goal. The Jets defense, anticipating a spike, lined up haphazardly; the matchup Marino was paying particular attention to was between Ingram and rookie Jets cornerback Aaron Glenn. Marino took the snap but instead of spiking the ball he dropped back to pass, while Ingram ran to the corner of the endzone with Glenn biting on the fake. With the Jets caught off-guard, Marino threw the pass to Ingram in the front corner of the endzone.[2]

The 28–24 victory moved the Dolphins to 8–4 and despite subsequent losses to Buffalo and Indianapolis the 10-6 Dolphins edged the 10-6 Patriots, who had won their last seven games, for the division title (winning on a season sweep of New England), the twelfth in the team's history. The Dolphins lost the divisional championship against the San Diego Chargers 21-22.

The comeback was Marino's 29th in his career, and his fifth against the Jets.[3]


The Jets, meanwhile, went into a tailspin. Coach Pete Carroll called the loss "staggering" but it proved even more than that; the Jets collapsed, losing for the remainder of the 1994 season. Carroll was fired after the season, but the Jets' slump continued as they won just four of their next 32 games.

See also


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