|2009 Miami Dolphins season|
|Head coach||Tony Sparano|
|General manager||Jeff Ireland|
|Home field||Land Shark Stadium|
|Division place||3rd AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||Yeremiah Bell, Dan Carpenter, Jake Long|
|AP All-Pros||Jake Long (2nd team)|
The 2009 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise's 40th season in the National Football League, the 44th overall and the second under head coach Tony Sparano. The Dolphins entered the 2009 season as the reigning AFC East champions after posting an 11-5 record in 2008. Dropping by four more games, the Dolphins failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007, marking the 25th consecutive year that the region hosting the Super Bowl did not see its host team play in, thus it set off a playoff drought that lasted until 2016. (not counting years where Super Bowls have been played on neutral sites).
The Dolphins fired offensive line coach Mike Maser on January 14, 2009, just one year after he was hired to head coach Tony Sparano's staff. During Maser's lone season with the Dolphins, the team had the 12th-best offense in the league with 345.6 yards per game. A day after firing Maser, the team hired Dave DeGuglielmo, who had been the assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants, as their new offensive line coach.
After kicking coach Steve Hoffman left the team to join the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dolphins hired University of Rhode Island head coach Darren Rizzi as the assistant special teams coach on February 21.
|Date signed||2009 team|
|SS||Yeremiah Bell||UFA||2/26||Miami Dolphins|
|OT||Vernon Carey||UFA||2/20||Miami Dolphins|
|LB||Channing Crowder||UFA||2/25||Miami Dolphins|
|CB||André Goodman||UFA||3/1||Denver Broncos|
|FS||Renaldo Hill||UFA||2/27||Denver Broncos|
|C||Al Johnson||UFA||3/17||New England Patriots|
|LB||Quentin Moses||ERFA||3/31||Miami Dolphins|
|G||Ike Ndukwe||ERFA||3/20||Miami Dolphins|
|= Retained by Dolphins|
Originally slated to have the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dolphins' pick moved up one spot to 25th after the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles made it to the NFC Championship. Both the Cardinals (9-7) and Eagles (9-6-1) were projected to pick before the Dolphins (11-5), but with one guaranteed to make the Super Bowl (and thus pick 31st or 32nd depending on the outcome) the Dolphins moved up one position in the draft.
|2||44||Pat White||QB/WR||West Virginia||6'0"||197|
|4||108||Brian Hartline||WR||Ohio State||6'3"||188|
|6||181||Andrew Gardner||OT||Georgia Tech||6'6"||305|
|7||214||J. D. Folsom||ILB||Weber State||6'3"||230|
The team later signed guard J. D. Quinn (Montana) on May 11. Two of the undrafted rookies left the team shortly after signing, with Bronson failing to report to training camp on August 2 and Rogers opting for retirement on August 6.
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||TV||NFL.com Recap|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||August 17||7:30 pm||Jacksonville Jaguars||W 12-9||1-0||Land Shark Stadium||WFOR||Recap|
|2||August 22||7:30 pm||Carolina Panthers||W 27-17||2-0||Land Shark Stadium||WFOR||Recap|
|3||August 27||8:00 pm||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 10-6||3-0||Raymond James Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|4||September 3||8:00 pm||at New Orleans Saints||W 10-7||4-0||Louisiana Superdome||WFOR||Recap|
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||September 13||1:00 pm||at Atlanta Falcons||L 7-19||0-1||Georgia Dome||CBS||Recap|
|2||September 21||8:30 pm||Indianapolis Colts||L 23-27||0-2||Land Shark Stadium||ESPN||Recap|
|3||September 27||4:15 pm||at San Diego Chargers||L 13-23||0-3||Qualcomm Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|4||October 4||4:05 pm||Buffalo Bills||W 38-10||1-3||Land Shark Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|5||October 12||8:30 pm||New York Jets||W 31-27||2-3||Land Shark Stadium||ESPN||Recap|
|7||October 25||4:15 pm||New Orleans Saints||L 34-46||2-4||Land Shark Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|8||November 1||1:00 pm||at New York Jets||W 30-25||3-4||Giants Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|9||November 8||1:00 pm||at New England Patriots||L 17-27||3-5||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|10||November 15||1:00 pm||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 25-23||4-5||Land Shark Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|11||November 19||8:20 pm||at Carolina Panthers||W 24-17||5-5||Bank of America Stadium||NFLN||Recap|
|12||November 29||1:00 pm||at Buffalo Bills||L 14-31||5-6||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|13||December 6||1:00 pm||New England Patriots||W 22-21||6-6||Land Shark Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|14||December 13||1:00 pm||at Jacksonville Jaguars||W 14-10||7-6||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|15||December 20||1:00 pm||at Tennessee Titans||L 24-27 (OT)||7-7||LP Field||CBS||Recap|
|16||December 27||1:00 pm||Houston Texans||L 20-27||7-8||Land Shark Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|17||January 3||1:00 pm||Pittsburgh Steelers||L 24-30||7-9||Land Shark Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|(3)New England Patriots||10||6||0||.625||4-2||7-5||427||285||L1|
|(5)New York Jets||9||7||0||.563||2-4||7-5||348||236||W2|
After a great season for the Miami Dolphins in 2008, the Dolphins went to the Georgia Dome to take on 2008 playoff contenders, the Atlanta Falcons. After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons got on the board with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to fullback Ovie Mughelli in the second quarter. They also got a 36-yard field goal by kicker Jason Elam to make the score 10-0 at halftime. In the third quarter, Mike Peterson intercepted a Chad Pennington pass, which set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez and a 50-yard field goal by Jason Elam to make the score 19-0. Chad Pennington then hit a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Williams.
The Falcons won the game 19-7 as the Dolphins started their season 0-1.
In 2008, no other team turned the ball over less than the Dolphins with only 13 turnovers, but in Week 1 Miami's offense had 4 turnovers, without having a single turnover on defense.
After a miserable loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Dolphins host their home opener to the Indianapolis Colts. On the first play from scrimmage, Peyton Manning threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. The Dolphins answered with a 14-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown out of the Wildcat Offense. The Dolphins and Colts kept going back and forth at each other with two field goals by Dan Carpenter and Adam Vinatieri to make the score 13-13 at halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, Ronnie Brown ran 2-yards for a touchdown to put Miami up 20-13. The Colts answered back with a 15-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Donald Brown. Miami than hit a 45-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. But the Colts took the lead thanks to a 48-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon. The Dolphins tried to rally at the end of the game but Chad Pennington was intercepted by Antoine Bethea to secure the Colts' victory.
The Colts won the game 27-23 as the Dolphins dropped to 0-2.
The Dolphins dominated the game in the time of possession battle, but lost the game with almost 50 minutes of offensive possession.
After a scoreless first quarter, Nate Kaeding hit a 25-yard field goal to score the first points of the game. Miami answered with a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at halftime 3-3. Miami took the lead after a 23-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. But the Chargers retook the lead with a 5-yard touchdown run by Philip Rivers. The Chargers pulled away in the fourth quarter with two Nate Kaeding field goals and a 31-yard interception return by safety Eric Weddle. The Dolphins got a 14-yard touchdown run by Ricky Williams, but couldn't make a comeback.
The Chargers won the game 23-13 as the Dolphins fell to 0-3.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington left the game with a shoulder injury after being hit by linebacker Kevin Burnett and was out for the season. The Dolphins chose Chad Henne to lead the Dolphins for the rest of the season.
The Miami Dolphins came off of a 0-3 start and tried to rebound against the Buffalo Bills. After a scoreless first quarter the Dolphins rallied quick with a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown by rookie Vontae Davis and a 1-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown along with a 33-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter making the halftime score 17-3. Miami continued with a Chad Henne touchdown pass to Brian Hartline and a 1-yard touchdown run by Ricky Williams. Trent Edwards hit Josh Reed for a 3-yard touchdown but Miami ended the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown.
The Dolphins won the game 38-10 as the team improved to 1-3.
Chad Henne made his first NFL start and threw for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Ronnie Brown ran in for the winning touchdown with just seconds left to send the Dolphins into their bye week at 2-3.
With the surprising loss, the Dolphins dropped to 2-4.
With their season sweep over the Jets, the Dolphins improved to 3-4.
With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 3-5.
With the win, the Dolphins improved to 4-5.
With the win, the Dolphins improved to 5-5.
With the loss, the Dolphins fell to 5-6.
With the win, the Dolphins improved to 6-6.
With the win, the Dolphins improved to 7-6.
With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 7-7.
With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 7-8.
The final outcome of this game had somewhat of a domino effect. It resulted in the Dolphins' elimination from the post-season (including Super Bowl XLIV, which they hosted February 8, 2010), and also, by virtue of the final standings' tiebreaker (as the result of the Baltimore Ravens defeating the Oakland Raiders), the Steelers themselves being dethroned of their world title defense.
The Dolphins ended their season in 3rd place in the AFC East as they finished the season 7-9.