Denver punted, and Miami got the ball again on its own nine. First down. There was a fumble and a herd of players fought for the ball. All of them finally stood up except Stofa. He left the stadium in an ambulance.
In came Griese. He took the Dolphins on an 80-yard drive in the second quarter and threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Sam Price for a 14-0 lead at the half. In the third quarter Griese called the same play Stofa had opened the game with and connected with Auer for a 68-yard touchdown. Then the Broncos, suddenly playing as well as they had in the preseason, moved into a 21-21 tie in the fourth quarter. But the Dolphins, with good passing from Griese and excellent running from Auer and Abner Haynes, won the game going away, 35-21.
"I need to know more about defenses," said Griese afterward, as an equipment man was packing away Stofa's helmet and pads from the cubicle where the gray-plaid suit hung. "I made a few bad calls that hurt us. I have to get experience. But I had some great backs to give the ball to." Auer and Haynes, who play the same position, complement each other perfectly. "And there's no jealousy," said Haynes, who tore away on a 65-yard touchdown run reminiscent of the years when he was the AFL's best. "I got way too much sense for that and so does Joe. We pull for each other."
Haynes had an incentive Sunday. He is one of 10 Dolphins who are ex- Denver Broncos. That may become 11. The latest could be George Wilson Jr., who was traded to Denver and then dropped. "Where else," says George Wilson Sr., "could I get a third quarterback without having to pay transportation expenses?" Facing a full season with a rookie quarterback, the Dolphins will wish Stofa's dream had lasted somewhat longer.