Both the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins are still seeking their first win of the season as they prepare square off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday afternoon.
Gruden goneThe Redskins are also winless, but unlike Miami they have already pulled the plug on their head coach. Following losses to Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, the Giants, and New England, Washington gave Jay Gruden his marching orders on Monday morning. The final straw was a 33-7 setback against the Patriots in Week 5.
"Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility," the team stated. "Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskinsfans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond."
While there has been a change at the top, there have also been plenty of changes at quarterback. Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, and rookie Dwayne Haskins have all seen action in 2019. Keenum will get the start on Sunday after McCoy started against New England. The former Texas standout did have much of a chance in his team's loss to the Patriots because the offensive line was awful and receivers dropped multiple passes. Keenum threw seven touchdown passes in his first three-plus games but he also turned it over five times. There are calls for Haskins to take over on a permanent basis given that the 'Skins are obviously going nowhere this season, but interim coach Bill Callahan simply said that Haskins is "gonna be ready" on Sunday in case of emergency.
One thing Callahan is expected to emphasize more than Gruden is the running game. According to teamrankings.com, Washington has called passing plays 68.79% of the time but they averaged just 212 yards per game through the air (26th).
“I’d like to get our run game going,” said Callahan to Redskins.com. “I think that’s important because everything else is complementary off it -- the run action, passes and protections off of it complement your running game. If we can play two-down football and go from second down to first down, that would be huge.”
Losing and losing bigThe Dolphins, who--for good reason--are widely considered the worst team in the NFL, have begun their 2019 campaign with losses to Baltimore, New England, Dallas, and the Chargers. All four setbacks have come by at least 20 points, including 59-10 to the Ravens and 43-0 to the Patriots (both at home). This could be considered the Tua Tagovailo Bowl, but it remains to be seen if either Miami or Washington (whichever team loses will have the inside track on the top pick) goes with a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Redskins have Haskins and the Dolphins traded for Josh Rosen from Arizona this past offseason. Rosen will make his third consecutive start on Sunday.
“I don’t think about it too much but I’m aware of it and the way that I’m sort of approaching this year is I feel like I’m really just trying out for the team,” Rosen noted. “I feel like I’m auditioning and I’m trying to put my best foot forward and prove to everyone upstairs and [the coaches] that I’m the man moving forward."
Rosen took the job from 15-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick following Miami’s 0-2 start. The former UCLA signal-caller helped Miami score its second touchdown of the season against the Chargers in Week 4, giving the Dolphins their first lead of 2019. Rosen has completed just 51.2 percent of his passes for 482 yards while getting picked off three times.
The Washington Redskins are:
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a double-digit home loss
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game
The Miami Dolphins are:
- 0-7 ATS in their last seven overall
- 0-4 ATS in their last four home games
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games against teams with losing records