• TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Pro Football / 15-Year Phiniversary: Dolphins Pull Stunning Upset of Patriots on Monday Night

15-Year Phiniversary: Dolphins Pull Stunning Upset of Patriots on Monday Night

On this day 15 years ago, the Miami Dolphins pulled one of the biggest upsets in the history of Monday Night Football by rallying past the eventual champion New England Patriots
Publish Date: 12/20/2019
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
Derrius Thompson scored the game-winner for the Dolphins in a 2004 victory over the New England Patriots. (AP Photo)

There’s something about hosting the New England Patriots that brings out the best in the Miami Dolphins. Despite enduring their worst season in 35 years, the Dolphins rose to the occasion on this day 15 years ago to rally past the eventual world champions.

Miami was just 2-11 as it got set to host the Patriots for Monday Night Football on Dec. 20, 2004. New England was 12-1, had already clinched the AFC East and was looking for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Patriots led by 11 in the final quarter, but Miami scored the game’s final 12 points in a thrilling 29-28 victory.

The Dolphins would tally just 231 yards of offense in the victory, but four interceptions of New England star quarterback Tom Brady provided life and set up two of Miami’s four touchdowns. Two of those four Brady picks came in the final two minutes.

New England led 14-10 at halftime, but a second interception of Brady by Miami safety Sammy Knight and a long return would eventually lead to the Dolphins going ahead for the first time. After A.J. Feeley found Derrius Thompson near the goal line to convert a critical third down, Travis Minor gave Miami its first lead with a 1-yard touchdown run.

It looked as though that would be the scare the Patriots needed to get going. On the ensuing drive, Brady capped a 10-play march with a short touchdown pass to Corey Dillon to go in front 21-17 late in the third quarter. Another time-consuming drive that ended in another 2-yard touchdown toss from Brady — this time to tight end Daniel Graham — put New England in front 28-17 with less than four minutes to play and seemingly put the nail in the Miami coffin.

Despite having nothing more than pride to play for, the Dolphins responded. Feeley was 4-for-5 passing on the ensuing drive with a pair of completions to Sammy Morris before Morris punched it in for the second time on the evening from a yard out. The 2-point conversion was failed and New England needed only a first down to seal the game as it took over at its own 20-yard-line with just over two minutes to play.

Facing a 3rd-and-9 two plays after the 2-minute warning, Brady did the unthinkable. While being wrapped up and heading to the ground, Brady side-armed a pass up for grabs, which was caught by a sliding Miami linebacker in Brendon Ayanbadejo to set the Dolphins up at the Patriots’ 21-yard-line.

After the Dolphins netted no yards on the first three plays of the ensuing possession, New England was one play away from escaping as Miami faced a 4th-and-10. With the game on the line, Feeley fired over the middle to a leaping Thompson for a 21-yard touchdown as the Dolphins regained the lead, 29-28.

Again, the 2-point conversion was failed and New England was left needing just a field goal as it began at its own 24. After Dolphins’ defensive end David Bowens sacked Brady for a 9-yard loss on first down, Miami’s Arturo Freeman sealed the game with a critical interception.

Feeley finished the night with 198 yards passing. Brady passed for 171 yards and three touchdowns to go with the four picks. Dillon rushed for 121 yards and scored two total touchdowns in the loss. Morris and Minor each rushed for 27 yards for Miami. Morris was also the Dolphins’ leading receiver with six catches for 46 yards.

Video: The Greatest Monday Night Football Upset! (Patriots vs. Dolphins, 2004)

The Greatest Monday Night Football Upset! (Patriots vs. Dolphins, 2004)

Early on, it looked as though things would go as expected as New England scored on its opening drive, which was capped by Brady’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Faulk. Miami tied the game midway through the first quarter after a 71-yard punt return by future Patriot, Wes Welker, set up Morris’ — another future Patriot — 2-yard touchdown run. In the second quarter, Dillon scored from three yards out before Miami kicker Olindo Mare hit the game’s only field goal from 30 yards away.

The victory for Miami would serve as one of just four for the 2004 season and marked just the second time in league history that a team with two or fewer wins topped an opponent with 12 or more victories. The loss would also cost New England home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Patriots were forced to travel to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship but still wound up winning a third Super Bowl in four years. The final loss of the season however, was an absolute stunner and it came on this day 15 years ago.

Mike Ferguson is a contributor for The Grueling Truth, covering Florida sports and sports history. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. To keep up with all of his work, like his Facebook page.

Read Also
The Greatest College Basketball Team of All Time
Rating the greatest college basketball teams ever has been done many times ...
Should the Reds Remove Pete Rose’s Statue?
A few years ago the Philadelphia Phillies canceled their previously planned "Wall ...
SI Sportsbook Promo
Come Fly with me: How the 1988-89 Chicago Bulls pushed forward to an NBA dynasty.
Find the best sportsbook to bet on the NBA Playoffs! Prologue: By ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Top 100 remaining 2021 NFL free agents after Day 1
This is the most up-to-date list of available NFL free agents following ...
Predicting the next five Pro Football Hall of Fame classes
Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Top 100 NFL free agents entering the 2021 offseason
Below is a list of the top 100 free agents available this ...
Bonus of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Latest News
Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum signs gambling compacts
Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum declared Friday ...
Bears quarterback Justin Fields to play Sunday against Packers
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is expected to ...
Top 10 Indiana Hoosiers of All-Time
Today we look at the greatest Indiana Hoosiers ...
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: NFL Prediction Show: Week 9 Picking all games against the spread
NFL Prediction Show: Week 9 Picking all games against the spread
Video: Froggy Talkin Sports W/ Ryan and Joe
Froggy Talkin Sports W/ Ryan and Joe
Video: The NFL Draft Show
The NFL Draft Show
Betting Tips
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100 Review
BetMGM Review
DraftKings Review
FanDuel Review
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
T&Cs apply
First deposit only | 21+ & located in CO, MI, VA | Promo code EXTRA200| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500, CO: CALL 1-800-522-4700, MI: CALL 1-800-270-7117 | Full T&C apply Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
WynnBET Bonus
Bet $100 Get $100
T&Cs apply
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsMark Lewis
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: [email protected]

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or

Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Move to Top
Our Sports Pros recommend these awesome Social Casino sites this week:
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site