|Dolphins winless but not speechless|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 12 November 2007 13:22|
The NFL's only winless record hasn't stopped Miami from taunting opponents. Several Buffalo Bills said they were surprised by the Dolphins' trash-talking, including this unique barb before kickoff Sunday: ``How is it going to feel to get beat by an 0-8 team?''
``They were yapping before and during the game,'' Buffalo linebacker Angelo Crowell said. ``It was a bunch of nonsense. It's kind of hard to believe that an 0-8 team would do that. It wasn't anything bad, but some of it was stuff you might hear from a team that's 8-0, not 0-8.''
Miami is now 0-9, thanks to a 13-10 loss to the Bills on a last-minute field goal. The Dolphins will take their sorry show on the road as big underdogs the next two weeks at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as the opportunities to avoid the NFL's first 0-16 season dwindle.
Five defeats have been by three points, a franchise record for the most losses in one season by such a small margin. The close calls have provided potential fodder for taunts (``Hey, you only beat us by a field goal'') while leaving the Dolphins optimistic about a breakthrough.
``We will win a game this year,'' cornerback Will Allen pledged Monday.
Coach Cam Cameron said he'll mull whether a change at quarterback might nudge Miami over the hump. Cleo Lemon fell to 0-5 as a starter Sunday, when he was sacked for a safety and threw for only 131 yards, raising anew the notion it's time for second-round draft pick John Beck to make his NFL debut.
With Miami reluctant to throw downfield, Lemon's longest completion went for only 21 yards, and fans chanted ``We want Beck.''
Cameron said he'll meet with the quarterbacks Tuesday to discuss who will start. Playing the next two games on the road won't be a factor in the decision, he said.
``We'll know by Wednesday what direction we're going,'' Cameron said.
There are also lineup issues on defense. End Jason Taylor missed most of the second half Sunday with a left ankle injury, and while an MRI exam Monday was negative, his status for the Eagles game is uncertain. A groin injury to the other starting end, Matt Roth, may be more serious, and middle linebacker Zach Thomas (migraines) has yet to receive medical clearance after missing the past two games.
The Dolphins' latest loss was their most creative yet. They won the turnover battle and enjoyed an advantage of 14 minutes in time of possession. They topped 100 yards rushing for the seventh consecutive game, the team's longest such streak since 1984, and led most of the day.
Yet they remained 0-for-'07. And they became the league's lone winless team when St. Louis earned its first victory by beating New Orleans.
``We've got to get a win,'' Allen said. ``Being 0-10, you can't even begin to think what that would look like. Just having that one win, you get to stop hearing about going 0-16 and all that junk. I'm tired of hearing about it, but we're not doing anything about it.''
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Miami is the seventh team to lose its first nine games since 1990. The worst start during that span was by the 2001 Detroit Lions, who were 0-12 before they won.
Cameron and his players say the Dolphins' effort remains good, even as the source of motivation has changed.
``We're not going to the playoffs, and we're certainly not going to the Super Bowl,'' defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said. ``When we take the field, we're playing for each other. It's all about pride.''
The best remaining chances to win will be home games Dec. 2 against the New York Jets (1-8) and in the Dec. 30 finale against Cincinnati (3-6). The Jets' lone win came Sept. 23 against Miami.
``This is a time of year when some teams get worse and some teams get better,'' Cameron said. ``It's our opportunity to get better and find a way to win a game.''
Otherwise, the Dolphins may eventually run out of trash-talking material.