Dolphins vs Redskins: Hidden behind a few Week 6 contender matchups stands an NFL game notable for a different reason: The 0-4 Miami Dolphins host the 0-5 Washington Redskins in a Sunday battle at 1 p.m. ET (Fox) that pits the NFL’s two worst teams according to point differential (Dolphins at -137 and Redskins at -78).
Welcome to the 2019 Winless Bowl. And this week, the zero must go to one team — barring a tie.
Miami, which has lost each of its first four games by 20-plus points, is finally having a quiet October after jettisoning many of its best players the past two months as part of an extreme rebuild. Washington, which has shuffled between quarterbacks Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and Dwayne Haskins over its first five games, fired coach Jay Gruden on Monday.
ESPN NFL reporters Cameron Wolfe (Dolphins) and John Keim (Redskins) break down the Winless Bowl, including the impact it will have on the 2020 NFL draft, plus a glimpse into each team’s long-term direction.
How each team got here:
Dolphins (0-4): Miami made a coaching change in February, then underwent a talent teardown in hopes of collecting assets for future drafts as well as cleaning up its shaky salary-cap situation. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he is willing to withstand pain to become a championship contender. That first step, combined with the trades of Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and Minkah Fitzpatrick for picks, has made Miami’s on-field product tough to watch.
Redskins (0-5): This season has been a shock to the Redskins. Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams remains a holdout; tight end Jordan Reed hasn’t played because of a concussion; and starting running back Derrius Guice injured his knee in Week 1. No quarterback has stood out. Washington lacks discipline and urgency and has faced four 2018 playoff teams in the first five weeks. It’s a bad mix. The defense, a supposed strength, has been terrible.
What’s more important for each team’s future over the final three months: avoiding 0-16 or securing the No. 1 overall pick?
Dolphins: The best-case scenario is going 1-15 or 2-14 while securing the No.1 overall pick. If forced to choose, securing the top pick, which could become potential franchise-changing Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, is more important to this team’s future, even if it comes with the embarrassing pain of going 0-16.