As Week 7 dawns on the 2019 season, only two teams remain standing in the quest for the NFL’s Holy Grail: a perfect season. But as an ageless Tom Brady seeks to lead the 6-0New England Patriotsto redemption for that devastating loss inSuper Bowl XLIIthat most of his teammates are too young to remember, theDolphinsare courageously pursuing what’s arguably a far more challenging feat roughly 1, 500 miles south in Miami.
The Miami Dolphins & the Quest for the NFL’s Un-Holy Grail
Achieving aperfect seasonrequires even the most talented franchises to assemble a flawless confluence of roster management, health, and strategy, not to mention a little help from Lady Fortune.
Securing awinless record– and the first pick in the NFL draft – requires all this, and more, because teams attempting to lay a season-long goose egg must also grapple with the unfortunate fact that their players – and usually, their coaches too – still want to w in football games. And try as you might to quietly model your roster after amiddling XFL team, you’ll eventually run smack into an opponent who sucks just as badly as you do.
For the Miami Dolphins, that opponent was theWashington Redskins, who by Week 6 had alreadychurned through a head coachand two starting quarterbacks, all while their future franchise quarterback juggles riding the pine with throwing interceptions and they pay their former franchise quarterback and17 – time leg surgery veteran$ 31 millionthrough next season.
The tanking Dolphins got off to a near-textbook start. Following a scoreless first quarter, they managed to escape the next two quarters with a single field goal as Case Keenum and the Redskins racked up 17 points.
Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores almost blew the game when he replaced Josh Rosen with Ryan Fitzpatrick (insertobligatory “he went to Harvard” reference), whonearly gave owner Stephen Ross a heart attackwhen he promptly led a fourth- quarter comeback that brought the Dolphins within a failed two-point conversion of their first victory.
Kenyan Drake Saves the Tanking Dolphins, Who Will Reward Him by Setting Him Free
But with the chips on the line, running back Kenyan Drake came through for the Dolphins front office, masterfully dropping the screen pass from Fitzpatrick rather than running the risk that a hapless Redskins defense would let him slip into the end zone.
Now, the Dolphins reportedly plan to reward Drake by trading him to a franchise that still wants to win football games in this decade.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team hasalready held trade conversationswith multiple teams. Drake, Rapoport said, would “welcome a new opportunity.”
The eventual Drake trade should send a message to the fourth-year running back’s soon-to-be-former teammates, the bulk of whom are reportedbegging the 0-5 Dolphins to set them freeas well.
After all, there’s still a long season ahead, and Miami must ensure that its roster remains in immaculately-abysmal condition when they face the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals in late December.
This article was edited bySam Bourgi.