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 DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder has resisted the temptation to circle on the schedule the games he thinks his team has the best chance to win.
``If I circled them, I would say we would be at the worst 6-2 right now, looking at the schedule,'' Crowder said Wednesday. ``We're not 6-2, so I'm done circling.''
The Dolphins are instead 0-8, halfway to the NFL's first 0-16 season. They'll seek a breakthrough Sunday at home against Buffalo, which looks to be one of Miami's best remaining shots at a victory.
While the Bills have won three games in a row to improve to 4-4, they've scored only nine offensive touchdowns and are ranked near the bottom of the league on both offense and defense.
In addition, the Dolphins are well-rested coming off their bye week.
``The bye was good for us,'' defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said. ``Guys are re-energized, and we'll come out and play well against Buffalo.
``We have nothing to lose. We should definitely have a chip on our shoulder and play with a swagger. Why not?''
Miami isn't necessarily the league's worst team this year - the St. Louis Rams are also 0-8. But the Dolphins are well aware an 0-16 finish would saddle them with a lasting reputation as perhaps the worst team ever.
``We're not going 0-16,'' Crowder said. ``We have a lot of character guys on this team who won't let guys hang it up or get down.
``We won't go 0-16, because we don't want to. There's too much pride to give up. Keep grinding, and you'll get a win.''
The Dolphins have come close, losing four games by three points each. That includes their most recent defeat, 13-10 against the New York Giants in London on Oct. 28.
Three games remain against teams with losing records, including the New York Jets, whose only win came when they played Miami in September. Other promising opportunities for the Dolphins will be next week at Philadelphia (3-5) and in the season finale at home against Cincinnati (2-6).
Avoiding a winless season is the Dolphins' biggest motivation. They're already virtually assured of missing the playoffs for the sixth year in a row, extending a franchise record.
The Dolphins are tied with Cincinnati for last in the NFL in points allowed. They're on pace to set a franchise record for rushing yards allowed, and opposing quarterbacks have a rating of 102.6, some 16 points above Dan Marino's career average. Miami is last in the league in passes intercepted and even kickoff coverage.
Yet the mood in the locker room remains surprisingly cheerful, and the Dolphins are optimistic they can achieve a turnaround this season.
``We're going to go out and try to run off some wins,'' quarterback Cleo Lemon said. ``We know we have the talent to do that.''
Miami's soft run defense should be bolstered this week by the return of Holliday, who missed the past four games with an ankle injury. Coach Cam Cameron decided against promoting rookie quarterback John Beck to the first team this week, and instead Lemon will start his fourth consecutive game, still looking for his first career victory.
``We have a lot of talent,'' Lemon said. ``We feel we can play with any team. When you don't get the results you work so hard for, it's kind of frustrating. Not just for me, but for this whole team, a win would be tremendous.''

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