Dan Marino threw two touchdown passes to Mark Clayton within a 1:36 span of the third quarter today and the Miami Dolphins broke away from a halftime tie to beat the New England Patriots, 28-7.
It was the 17th straight victory for the Dolphins (2-0) over their AFC East rivals in the Orange Bowl, where the Patriots (1-1) haven't won since 1966.
"You hate to come in here and lose, but we're in good company," Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan said. "A lot of other people come down here and do the same things, but we're more consistent at than anyone."
Marino, who threw five touchdowns passes in Miami's season-opening 35-17 victory in Washington, teamed with Clayton on a 38-yard touchdown with 12:38 left in the third quarter and capitalized on Charles Bowser's fumble recovery 1:36 later, this time connecting with Clayton for a 15-yard score.
"The first (touchdown) time I ran the wrong route, but I saw Dan was scrambling and I broke my pattern," said Clayton, who had been sick much of the week with a cold. "I don't think they'll (coaches) complain about that."
Marino, a second-year quarterback, was 16 of 27 passing for 234 yards, with two interceptions. Grogan was 20 of 42 for 217 yards and four interceptions.
Glenn Blackwood got two of those and Mike Kozlowski one, returning it 26 yards before lateraling to William Judson, who went 60 yards to complete an 86-yard interception return for Miami's final touchdown, with 2:53 left in the fourth period.
Jim Jensen, the Dolphins' No. 3 quarterback who caught two touchdown passes against the Redskins as a wide receiver, took a lateral from Marino late in the second quarter and threw his first NFL touchdown pass.
Mark Duper, usually Marino's favorite target, caught Jensen's 35-yard pass to give Miami a 7-0 lead with 5:37 left in the half.
Jensen, a fourth-year pro who had thrown only one pass in a regular-season game, found Duper running into the end zone with cornerback Ray Clayborn hanging on his back. It was Duper's third touchdown catch this season.
Grogan completed a 10-play, 90-yard drive with a nine-yard scoring pass to tight end Lin Dawson 56 seconds before intermission.
Miami drove 73 yards in four plays after the second-half kickoff to end a 7-7 tie.
Marino got the drive going with an 18-yard pass to Tony Nathan and connected with Nat Moore for 17 yards for a first down at the New England 38.
Clayton got behind safety Rick Sanford on the next play and Marino threw a perfect spiral that Clayton brought in as he crossed the goal line.
Grogan passed to Cedric Jones for a nine-yard gain to the New England 16 two plays later, but Judson's tackle shook the ball from the receiver's grasp and Bowser recovered.
Marino sent fullback Woody Bennett off right tackle for a yard before Clayton beat cornerback Ronnie Lippett in the left corner of the end zone for his second touchdown catch.
The seven-man officiating crew was forced to work a man short for most of the second quarter after field judge Charley Musser collapsed on the field in 84-degree heat.
Officials later announced that Musser, 60, had been hit in the throat on a punt return and collapsed the next play. He was wheeled from the field on a stretcher but returned in the second half.