An AFL expansion team in the mid-1960's, the Miami Dolphins rivalries go way back with several teams, especially within their own conference, the AFC.
Here are the Dolphins' biggest rivals, ranked.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers also stand as a heated rival of the Dolphins — and not because within the last year Miami traded young, standout defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the black and yellow franchise.
The Steelers and Dolphins have met four times in the postseason, most recently in 2016 when Pittsburgh knocked off Miami in the AFC Wild Card round. Before that, though, the Steelers and Dolphins met three times in 12 years while Don Shula was in charge, beating Pittsburgh in the Conference Championship before winning Super Bowl VII.
Pittsburgh and Miami would later meet in the 1982-83 divisional round, leading to a Steelers win and soon after a Steelers Super Bowl victory.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Another non-divisional rival, the Indianapolis Colts, share a history with the Dolphins, especially during the early days of the NFL when the Colts were located in Baltimore. Legendary head coach Shula first coached in Baltimore for the Colts before his long and successful tenure with the Dolphins, which cost Miami a first-round pick to the Colts.
The Colts and Dolphins would soon afterwards find themselves in the AFC title game in Jan. 1972, when Miami blanked then-Baltimore 21-0 en route to losing Super Bowl VI to the Dallas Cowboys.
3. New York Jets
The next biggest rival for the Dolphins is an in-division foe from the AFC East, the New York Jets, who Miami gets to play twice a season. Playing 109 times over the years, the Dolphins are 52-55-1 in regular season matchups, beating the team in their only playoff matchup in Jan. 1983's AFC Championship Game.
While both have lived in the shadow of the New England Patriots over the past two decades, the Dolphins and Jets have sparked a great rivalry over the years while Dan Marino was in charge of Miami's offense (including the “fake spike” that led to a Nov. 1994 win against Gang Green). The Dolphins also signed Chad Pennington after the Jets' first-rounder spent eight years in the New York metropolitan area, later winning the division with Miami.
2. Buffalo Bills
The Bills and Dolphins held a long grudge while Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and the aforementioned Marino held sway in their respective, vastly different climates and NFL franchise cities. The Dolphins have gone 60-47-1 in the regular season against the Bills, but Buffalo dominates the postseason matchup, winning three out of four meetings — all of which came in the 1990's.
As part of their four consecutive Super Bowl berths, the Bills faced and defeated the Dolphins in two conference championships, later beating Miami again in the Wild Card round in 1995-96, before losing to the Dolphins in the first round in 1998-99.
The Dolphins and Bills get plenty of chances to renew rivalry playing twice a year, however.
1. New England Patriots
The Dolphins have ever been the thorn in the side of future Hall of Fame signal-caller Tom Brady, who just ditched the Patriots this past offseason for Miami's in-state “rival,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Brady and the Patriots have mostly dominated the division for the better part of 20 years, Miami has always been there to kneecap them from time to time, including beating New England in the final week of the 2019 season, which caused Brady and co. to have to lose their first-round bye and eventually lose in the AFC Wild Card round last January.
Before that, the Dolphins also matched up with the Patriots thrice in the playoffs, losing twice, winning once in 1982-83 in the first round, and they own a 55-51 regular-season advantage over New England.
Currently, former Patriots coordinator Brian Flores steers the Dolphins' ship.