|WINE ON FOOTBALL: What's next for winless Dolphins?|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 01 November 2007 11:30|
A loss last Sunday in London sent the Dolphins into their bye week winless through eight games and nagged by questions. What will go wrong next? Are they doomed to endure the first 0-16 season in NFL history? Do they really have to play the Patriots again?
Unless Miami's odoriferous offense, dismal defense and lousy luck suddenly improve, here's how the rest of the year might unfold:
Nov. 4 - The Dolphins fall behind neighbor Florida International University (0-9) in the BCS standings. Linebacker Joey Porter guarantees the Dolphins would beat FIU.
Nov. 11 - Rookie John Beck replaces Cleo Lemon at quarterback and throws for 423 yards in his first NFL start, but the Dolphins fumble 12 times and fall to 0-9 by losing to Buffalo 35-2. Linebacker Zach Thomas gets a flat tire on his way home and stubs his toe when he kicks the rim, sidelining him for one game.
Nov. 12 - Coach Cam Cameron gives the quarterback job back to Lemon, saying he wants to save Beck for next season.
Nov. 13 - Suspended running back Ricky Williams is granted reinstatement by the NFL and the Dolphins activate him, but he misses practice because it conflicts with his yoga class. Cameron punishes Williams by making him watch film of the first nine games.
Nov. 18 - Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor has four sacks, three interceptions and two safeties, but the Dolphins fall to 0-10 by losing at Philadelphia 35-4.
Nov. 19 - Alabama coach Nick Saban vehemently denies reports he'll leave Tuscaloosa to rejoin the Dolphins.
Nov. 20 - Saban rejoins the Dolphins, replacing Cameron, who moves to quarterback.
Nov. 22 - With a Monday night game at Pittsburgh looming, reports surface that Howard Cosell is spinning in his grave. Joey Porter guarantees his family will watch the telecast.
Nov. 26 - Zach Thomas makes 27 tackles and Joey Porter contributes one, but Cameron throws four interceptions and the Dolphins fall to 0-11 by losing to the Steelers 35-6.
Nov. 27 - Owner Wayne Huizenga sells the team to Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who dismantles the roster and keeps only the team's 11 rookies. ``That's enough to play,'' Loria says. The NFL concedes Loria's move is justified but nullifies the sale and punishes Huizenga by ordering him to watch his team practice.
Dec. 2 - Three 80-yard touchdown runs by Ricky Williams are negated because of false-start penalties, and the Dolphins fall to 0-12 by losing 35-8 to the New York Jets. Saban announces after the game he's quitting to move to his native West Virginia and take a high school coaching job for $7 million a year. Don Shula agrees to come out of retirement as interim coach.
Dec. 9 - Shula catches the Buffalo Bills by surprise by going without a quarterback, and the Dolphins drive 80 yards for scores on their first two possessions before losing 35-10 to fall to 0-13. Zach Thomas strains a hamstring when his clutch fails on the drive home, sidelining him for two games.
Dec. 11 - Joey Porter guarantees the Dolphins will not go to the Super Bowl.
Dec. 16 - With the 1972 perfect season Dolphins back in town for a 35th anniversary celebration, Shula persuades Hall of Famer Bob Griese to play quarterback. Griese throws for 88 yards - same as in the 1973 Super Bowl - and the Dolphins fall to 0-14 by losing to Baltimore 35-12.
Dec. 23 - Ricky Williams moves to quarterback and throws two touchdown passes before retiring at halftime, and the Dolphins fall to 0-15 by losing at New England 187-14. The Patriots' starters sit out the second half.
Dec. 24 - Huizenga sells the team to the University of Florida, and Shula announces that Tim Tebow is his new quarterback. The NFL nullifies the sale and punishes Huizenga by ordering the Dolphins to play every home game next year in England, and every road game at New England.
Dec. 30 - Shula coaxes the entire '72 team out of retirement, and the Dolphins avoid a winless season in their final game by beating Cincinnati. Naturally, the score is 17-0. New England finishes the regular season unbeaten, but the '72 Dolphins drench each other in champagne anyway.