The Dolphins’ perfect season might be in jeopardy on Sunday.
No, this isn’t 1972.
And no, an undefeated season is not hanging in the balance.
To the contrary: The Dolphins’ “Tank for Tua’’ winless season appears in jeopardy with the hapless, rudderless, quarterback-less, head coach-less and winless Redskins coming to South Florida.
This game looks so bad it might be good.
The Dolphins (0-4), who’ve been outscored 163-26 this season, are 3½-point underdogs to a Redskins team that fired coach Jay Gruden on Monday and has no idea who its quarterback should be.
The Dolphins have been trying to lose games this season, as they tank for the No. 1-overall draft pick in 2020, having sold off a number of their veterans and made little effort to improve themselves. The belief among many is that Miami is on a mission to draft Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa as its franchise quarterback.
Now the Redskins could ruin the Dolphins’ winless run. More land mines litter the Miami schedule after the Washington game. Still on the Dolphins’ schedule are two games against the Jets, who are 0-4, and one against the Bengals, who are 0-5. They also play the 1-4 Steelers and 2-3 Browns.
So, Sunday’s Loser’s Lounge showdown at Hard Rock Stadium marks the first in a series of challenges for the Dolphins to try not to win.
Is a 0-0 result possible? That, of course, would be too good to be true, surely too much to ask for.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald conducted an informal Twitter poll among Dolphins fans during the week, asking whether they were on board with the “Tank for Tua’’ program. Among the 5,570 respondents, 78 percent of them voted in favor of tanking.
“It’s funny how [fans] think we should tank and lose every game to get that No. 1 pick,” Dolphins left tackle Jesse Davis told reporters during the week.
“You’re not a real fan if you’re rooting for us to lose, no matter what [the reason] is,” linebacker Jerome Baker said. “We try to win every chance we get.’’
Of course, the players aren’t trying to lose. It’s just that the franchise has set these players up to fail.
The Dolphins enter this game ranked last in the league in points scored, most points allowed, yards yielded, point differential and turnover margin. The Dolphins also are last in the NFL in rushing defense, and Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan, an offensive line coach by trade, has made it clear this week he wants to get back to running the football.
“I envision us as a running team,’’ Callahan told Washington reporters. “I’d like to get our running game going. If we can play two-down football, that would be huge. To do that, the consistency of the running game has to take place. We have a good stable of running backs, and that will be the focus. If we commit a bit more, there is a chance to get it rolling.”
If the Redskins are able to get their running game rolling, this might be the Dolphins’ ace in the hole and allow them to continue their roll toward perfection — 0-16 perfection.