Super Bowl VIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins to decide the National Football League(NFL) champion for the 1973 season. The Dolphins defeated the Vikings by the score of 24–7 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl, the first team to do so since the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowls I and II, and the first AFC team to do so.
The game was played on January 13, 1974 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. This was the first time the Super Bowl site was not that of an NFL franchise. This was also the first Super Bowl not to be held in either the Los Angeles, Miami or New Orleans areas. It was also the last Super Bowl, and penultimate game overall (the 1974 Pro Bowl in Kansas City was the last) to feature goal posts at the front of the end zone.
This was the Dolphins’ third consecutive Super Bowl appearance. They posted a 12–2 record during the regular season, then defeated the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs. The Vikings were making their second Super Bowl appearance after also finishing the regular season with a 12–2 record, and posting postseason victories over the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.
Super Bowl VIII was largely dominated by the Dolphins, who scored 24 unanswered points during the first three quarters, including two touchdowns on their first two drives. Minnesota’s best chance to threaten Miami occurred with less than a minute left in the first half, but Vikings running back Oscar Reed fumbled the ball away at the Dolphins’ 6-yard line, and his team was unable to overcome Miami’s lead in the second half. The Dolphins’ Larry Csonka became the first running back to be named Super Bowl MVP; both his 145 rushing yards and his 33 carries were Super Bowl records.