Ending a Miserable Ride

The Miami Dolphins will close a miserable season at home Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The work needed to rebuild, however, may already be starting.

Regardless of Sunday's outcome, Miami (1-14) will finish with the fewest wins in franchise history. After starting the year 0-13, the Dolphins won their first game by beating the Baltimore Ravens 22-16 on Dec. 16, but they followed that victory with a 28-7 loss to the New England Patriots last Sunday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Cincinnati -3 point spread favorites (View NFL Football odds) for Sunday’s game, the over/under has been set at 45 total points (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 79% of bets for this game have been placed on Cincinnati -3 (View NFL Football bet percentages).

What remains to be seen after this game is the direction Bill Parcells will take Miami during the offseason. Parcells was hired last week to be executive vice president of football operations, a title that means he'll oversee "anything that has to do with football, directly or indirectly," owner Wayne Huizenga said.

One of the biggest questions is that of the future of first-year coach Cam Cameron. Cameron said as of Tuesday he had not spoken with Parcells, whom he did not refer to by name.

"He and I haven't talked, strictly that," Cameron said. "It's not that I'm not acknowledging something. It's just the fact that he and I will sit down one on one. He and I haven't talked."

Parcells told ESPN on Monday he was planning on flying down to Miami and meeting with Dolphins personnel sometime this week, but Cameron said during a conference call with Cincinnati reporters that he doesn't expect much talk to be about the future of the team.

"These things will be addressed at another point in time," Cameron said. "Right now our focus is going to be for our guys to play this Sunday."

Cameron isn't the only one whose job may be in trouble.

The Dolphins have started three quarterbacks this year in an attempt to find something that works offensively. Cameron said his starter this week will again be Cleo Lemon, who took over for Trent Green (concussion) in Week 5.

Lemon started four straight games before giving way to rookie John Beck, but returned as the starter in the Dolphins' only win of the season as he went 23-of-39 for a season-high 315 yards against the Ravens. Last week, however, Lemon was just 18-of-41 for 171 yards.

"I think our approach is going to be the same. We're going to play the guy that gives us the best chance to win the game and right now it's Cleo," Cameron told the Dolphins' official Web site.

Although they weren't as bad as Miami, the Bengals (6-9) close the season Sunday with frustrations of their own. Cincinnati went 8-8 and 11-5 the last two years, but it struggled to find much consistency this season. The Bengals haven't won back-to-back games this year and have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games.

They are coming off a 19-14 win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday despite Carson Palmer completing just 11 of 21 passes for 115 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Palmer has thrown a career-high 19 interceptions and 23 touchdown passes - his fewest since finishing his 2004 rookie season with 18.

Palmer, who two seasons ago led the Bengals to their first playoff appearance since 1990, said he wasn't sure what needed to be improved in the offseason.

"To be honest, I haven't thought much about what this year means going into next year," Palmer said. "I've just been trying to figure out how to get a win."

The once potent Cincinnati offense has failed to score 20 points in four consecutive games.

The Bengals have lost all six of their games at Miami, including one playoff matchup, since winning their first visit there in 1968. The Dolphins lead the all-time series 12-4, though they lost 16-13 at Cincinnati in 2004 in the most recent meeting.

By: Staff Writers - Email Us

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