Redskins vs. Dolphins: Tanks but no tanks

Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins

Never has a battle of 0-fers offered so much intrigue. Will there truly be a winner between the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins on Sunday?

It’s not as if this is breaking news. On Thursday night at Foxborough, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots raised their record a record to 6-0 via a 35-14 win over the New York Giants. They and the 4-0 San Francisco 49ers are the lone teams not to lose the game in 2019. Of course there’s the other end of the spectrum. And in the case of the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins, two off the four teams that have yet to win a game this season will actually face each other in South Florida on Sunday.

Much has been written about both of these franchises. The ‘Skins have been in the news as of late because earlier this week, owner Daniel Snyder and the organization parted ways with head coach Jay Gruden following the club’s 0-5 start. Bill Callahan will now become the ninth different head coach for the franchise since Snyder purchased the team just over 20 years ago.

In the case of the Dolphins, their massive house cleaning came over the course of numerous months. A franchise that has been to the playoffs only twice since 2002 has a new head coach and a bevy of 2020 draft choices. The attempted change in culture meant that the club would be moving on from many players in various ways. And in the process, recent first-round picks like left tackle Jeremy Tunsil and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick were part of deals that netted the club high draft choices.

On the field, it’s been nothing short of disastrous. The Dolphins have each of their four games by a minimum of 20 points, three of those at home. Flores’ club has been outscored a combined 163-26 during its 0-4 start. Will it get better before it gets worse? It’s not as if the 2018 season was encouraging. After a 3-0 start, Miami dropped nine of its final 13 contests. The club surrendered 100 points in a season-ending three-game skid.

Of course, when you combine that kind of ineptitude with sweeping changes of dealing away your most talented plays, these days it’s assumed that you’re in the “tanking” business. Is that what the Dolphins are doing?

So riddle us this? Are the Redskins attempting to salvage 2019 with the dismissal of Gruden? The last time the team lost its first five games was 2001 under Marty Schottenheimer. He lasted one year with the club and the team went onto hire Steve Spurrier in ’02.

Back to this season, where back in Week 1 the team owned a 17-0 second-quarter lead at Philadelphia. Since that moment, Washington has been outscored by nearly 100 points (151-56). The team is 0-3 at home this season. The Redskins have allowed 31 or more points in four of their five setbacks. Like the Dolphins with second-year pro Josh Rosen, the franchise apparently has its signal-caller of the future in rookie Dwayne Haskins. He’s seen the field just once this season and threw three interceptions in relief of Case Keenum in a 24-3 road loss to the Giants.

Now the two teams that currently reside in the bottom of our NFL Power Rankings clash this weekend. Will the Redskins get their first win of the season if Flores’ teams plays as it has to date? Of course, the interconference tilt also begs some other questions. If these Dolphins lay another egg (which apparently is physically impossible), then those claiming that the franchise is throwing the season have some more ammo. But if the Redskins come up short on Sunday, will they be the team deemed to be tanking?

Listen to “What teams are still legit Super Bowl contenders after Week 3?” on Spreaker.

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