Dan Marino. One of the greatest QBs of all time. A veritable legend who absolutely changed the game of football. You can pretty much use a fan’s opinion of Dan Marino as a way to decide if that person is worth listening to or not. If they say Dan Marino was one of the best QBs of all time, that’s a good fan. If they talk about how he never won the big one, that fan is probably not worth listening to. It takes a special talent to be recognized as one of the best players at your position even if you never won a championship.

He also ended his career in maybe the worst swan song game you could possibly imagine. Some players get incredibly lucky and go out on top, like Jerome Bettis, Peyton Manning, or Michael Strahan. Most athletes fade away, shells of themselves, careers ending unceremoniously after we’ve all kind of accepted their time has passed. A few unlucky ones lose it all on one horrific injury. Then there’s Dan Marino, who went out in style. The Style being one of the biggest beatdowns in NFL playoff history.

Marino didn’t have a great year. He was all set up for the classic fadeaway ending. He was well past his prime, dealing with a career of injury buildup, and just not what he used to be. But maybe this year could be different anyway. A week earlier, Dan did something he had yet to do up to that point: won a road playoff game. Yes, not winning a road playoff game till your final season is kinda embarrassing, but he did it! Take that, Seattle. Man it’s weird remembering Seattle was AFC.

Then he took the field against the red-hot Jaguars and got sent to the shadow realm. His first pass of the entire game was a wildly off-target pick to the sideline. The blood would only continue to flow. His first two completions of the game were to the wrong team. The Jaguars had the backups in by the end of the first half. His one moment of glory was a long drive at the end of the half resulting in the only points the Dolphins would score all day. He ended the game with 1 touchdown, 2 fumbles, 2 picks, 11-25, and 95 yards. He got benched shortly into the 2nd half. The Jaguars won the game by 55 points, a record, with a final score of 62-7. It is the worst playoff blowout in the super bowl era and one of the worst blowouts of all time. SBnation did a more detailed recap if you’d like to bask in the glory a bit more.

We didn’t know it was Marino’s final game when it happened. There was a lot of speculation about it, but nobody knew for sure, not even Dan. Marino would eventually choose to hang it up instead of play for a different team. It’s hard not to wonder how much the final game played a role in his decision. Maybe it helped convince him that he wasn’t physically up for it anymore. Maybe he considered playing ball and flashbacks of multiple Jaguars putting him 6 feet under would flash in his mind. Maybe getting shellshocked was a moment of clarity for him, that life goes on and maybe it’s okay to stop.

The Jaguars will treasure this game forever. This is the Jaguars greatest moment as a franchise.