Everybody knows the 0-7 Dolphins are bad. But after Sunday's nausea-inducing loss to the New England Patriots, Miami looks like it has a legitimate shot at being the first 0-16 team in NFL history.
Sunday I actually saw the Dolphins live for the first time all year. I didn't want to decide anything until I saw them for myself. Now, judging them against the best team in the NFL, the 7-0 Patriots, perhaps isn't fair. But that's life.
The game at Dolphin Stadium clearly showed two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. New England looked efficient, precise, organized and unstoppable as Tom Brady dissected the Dolphins with five touchdowns in the first half on the way to a boring 49-28 victory. The Dolphins, on the other hand, looked like a Pop Warner team. Coming out of the two-minute warning in the first half the Fins didn't snap the ball in time and got a delay of game penalty. This pathetic display elicited a loud and disgusted “My God, you guys suck!” from a Fins fan sitting near me. On the first Patriots touchdown of the game Donte Stallworth should have been tackled three different times. The Dolphins couldn't tackle the entire afternoon, which is a problem, since that is a pretty fundamental part of football.
Twice Randy Moss snatched touchdown passes away from more than one defender. When the Fins showed some life and Jason Taylor intercepted a pass from Brady's backup and ran it in for a touchdown, Brady promptly reentered the game and drove the Pats down the field for his sixth TD of the game, once again facilitated by poor tackling. All day long the Dolphins did their best impression of a Division II college team. Receivers dropped easy balls, defenders missed assignments, and even the special teams gave up a touchdown. Making the experience even more pathetic, the Jumbotron kept showing old footage of Dolphins victories over New England from 30 years ago, presumably to distract fans just enough to keep them from collectively vomiting in their seats.
The Dolphins stand at 0-7 after Sunday's debacle. Starting QB Trent Green is out for the season, and the lone bright spot on the offense, running back Ronnie Brown, left Sunday's game with a knee injury. Can they become the first team ever to go 0-16? (The 1976 Bucs went 0-14 and the 1960 Cowboys went 0-11-1, both in their first seasons in the league.) Let's take a look at the rest of their schedule:
Week 8 Oct. 28 New York Giants (London, England)
The Giants are 5-0 since starting the season with two losses. Dolphins find no refuge in London's Wembley Stadium. But hey, at least they can drown their sorrows in a warm Guinness afterward.
Result: Loss (0-8)
Week 9 Nov. 4 Bye Week
Thank God you can't lose on a bye week, I'm sure the Fins would if they could.
Week 10 Nov. 11 Buffalo Bills
The Bills are showing signs of life with a tough loss to a good Cowboys team and effective play from rookie RB Marshawn Lynch. The bleeding won't stop here.
Result: Loss (0-9)
Week 11 Nov. 18 at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles aren't nearly as good as people expected them to be this year. But they are still better than the Dolphins as long as McNabb is under center and Brian Westbrook is healthy.
Result: Loss (0-10)
Week 12 Nov. 26 at Pittsburgh Steelers
No chance they get their first win against perhaps the third best team in the AFC behind Indy and New England.
Result: Loss (0-11)
Week 13 Dec. 2 New York Jets
This should be the Fins best, and perhaps only chance to avoid a winless season. The Jets look horrible at 1-6, and their RB Thomas Jones has yet to find the end zone. Playing at home, and facing three tough teams to close the season, hopefully they'll win this game on pride alone.
Result: Win (1-11)
Week 14 Dec. 9 at Buffalo Bills
If they don't beat the Bills at Home on November 11, don't expect them to win in Buffalo in December.
Result: Loss (1-12)
Week 15 Dec. 16 Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens look pathetic on offense behind a piecemeal line, but they still have a great defense. And they are my hometown team, so they get the nod.
Result: Loss (1-13)
Week 16 Dec. 23 at New England Patriots
If you saw Sunday's game, you know this will be another embarrassment.
Result: Loss (1-14)
Week 17 Dec. 30 Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals can't seem to stop anyone on defense, but neither can the Dolphins. Cincy's offense is more powerful than the Fins', so they have the edge.
Result: Loss (1-15)
So there it is. The Dolphins have one shot to avoid the dreaded donut. Good luck guys, you'll need it. –- Tovin Lapan