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A.J. Feeley: 2004-2005
The 2004 football calendar finished with A.J. Feeley at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Surprisingly, the season started with even worse news than how it ended.
Just weeks before the Dolphins prepared to host the Tennessee Titans in their season opener, running back Ricky Williams—the cornerstone of the franchise—abruptly announced his retirement.
Early into the team’s 2004 campaign, it became painfully clear to all Dolphins fans that Jay Fiedler was never going to be Dan Marino. Then, after a 16-13 loss the following week at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals, it became equally clear (and painful) that Feeley was not even going to be Fiedler.
Over the next 14 weeks of play, Feeley helped quarterback the Dolphins to their worst finish since the Nixon administration, as he posted a sub-60 quarterback rating in half of his starts.
Feeley’s only 300-yard passing game in Miami was accompanied with five interceptions—the most of any quarterback in a single game in the post-Marino era.
His sole shining moment came on a Monday Night Football contest against the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Trailing 28-17 in the fourth quarter, it was Feeley who out-dueled Tom Brady and threw the game-winning touchdown. The Dolphins won 29-28.
Feeley was traded later the next season.
Most ‘Non-Marino Like’ Performance: September 26th, 2004 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
In A.J. Feeley’s first home start with the Miami Dolphins, his team was desperately hoping to avoid their first 0-3 start since 1969.
Their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, had a new face at quarterback as well. Pittsburgh was starting their top draft choice, Ben Roethlisberger, for the first time. The rookie led the Steelers to a fourth-quarter touchdown, the only one of the game, and to a 10-point victory.
Feeley, on the other hand, completed less than half of his 27 attempts and was responsible for two interceptions. He only led the Dolphins on one scoring a drive—a fourth-quarter field goal.