The other day I was driving home from my daily trip to the dog park, and I came across a massive car accident. I live in Los Angeles, so there is no limit to the amount of these occurrences daily. It appeared that all the participants were okay, but the four vehicles certainly were not. Each was totaled and undrivable, and as each of us on the road passed, we couldn’t look away.
This moment is the spirit animal of this Sunday’s calamity of a game between the Miami Dolphins and the Washington Redskins.
Both teams have sputtered out win-less campaigns, and both have looked dreadful in doing so, with each ranking in the bottom five of both offense and defense. While there is no doubt that they both lack the talent from top to bottom, it is how they have each gotten to these depths that stands out.
The Dolphins were not projected to compete in their division this (or any year as long as Tom Brady is still playing). Coming into the year, they had a real lack of talent on both sides of the ball. New head coach Brian Flores was brought in to install the toughness that made New England so domineering. That toughness never caught on. Instead of spinning their wheels, the Dolphins decided to punt this year in favor of the future.
They have shipped out almost every blue-chip piece they had in town, sending away disgruntled star Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers and both Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans. In doing so, they accumulated a whopping 12 draft picks next year-with three of them in the first round. They are devoid of talent at the moment but have put themselves in position to refill at premium spots in the future, including a surefire shot at obtaining the first overall pick-or so they thought.
The Redskins are dubbed, by many, as the NFL’s premier dysfunctional franchise. Since Dan Snider purchased the team in 1999, they have gone 139-180-1 and burned through seven head coaches, including the recent firing of Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start this year. Their mindset is always to compete, with each year giving out overpriced contracts to free agents, but it has all culminated in this dud of a season so far.
Trent Williams, who is objectively their best player, has held out all season because of a dispute with their medical staff. Free-agent quarterback Case Keenum has been downright awful, rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins has shown that he is not ready for NFL action when he got the starting nod, and their biggest signee of the offseason Landon Collins has not lived up to his contract at all.
Any true bright spots on the team have been struck with injuries, as rookie receiver Terry McLaurin has dealt with a bad hamstring, and Derrius Guice has been placed on injured reserve after surgery on a torn meniscus.
The Dolphins have fully embraced the tank, while the Redskins have spent the money to compete this year, and yet both teams find themselves in the same race for the first pick of the 2020 draft. And as the football gods have it, they both play each other this Sunday. Neither team has any incentive to win this game.
The Redskins will be going back to the well and starting Case Keenum, while the Dolphins are sticking with Josh Rosen for the remainder of the season. Neither strikes much confidence and are both capable of easily losing this game for their teams-not that they’d receive much help.
he loser of the match will have a momentous leg up on the other for the number one pick, and with that most likely being Alabama’s can’t-miss quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. One would think that each team will pull out the stops to find a way to lose this game.
What happens when an easily stoppable force meets an effortlessly movable object? We’re all about to find out. In this Sunday’s unofficial Tank Bowl between the Dolphins and the Redskins, may the worst team lose.
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