History not on Dolphins' side

Starting 0-4 is foreign territory to a lot of Dolphins players who are used to fast starts and slow finishes. Zach Thomas half-kiddingly wondered maybe this is the year the Dolphins start slow and finish fast. But they'll have to finish incredibly fast and strong if they hope to have any chance of contending for a playoff spot. And history says it ain't likely to happen.

Of all the teams that have started a season 0-4, only one has rebounded to make the playoffs, and that team was the 1992 San Diego Chargers.

Interestingly enough, that team featured linebacker Junior Seau, who now finds himself dealing with the Dolphins' slow start.

So if anyone knows what it takes to pull off this mini-miracle, it's Seau.

"It takes a lot of time," Seau said Thursday. "It's just being patient and being positive. Taking it play by play and approaching the game the game with a lot of attitude, attitude which you know the sense of urgency is now and not later."

That 1992 San Diego team began the season with losses to Kansas City (24-10), Denver (21-13), Pittsburgh (23-6) and Houston (27-0) before going on a 11-1 tear where the only blemish was a two-point loss to Kansas City.

Getting things turned around won't be easy for the Dolphins, who face the unenviable task of trying to win at New England this Sunday.

There aren't many who believe the Dolphins can win this game, which is why they're 13-point underdogs. You would have to go back a long, long time to find the Dolphins as such as decided underdog.

The 1992 Chargers, like this year's Dolphins, featured a strong defense that was built around the likes of Leslie O'Neal, Chris Mims, Burt Grossman, Gill Byrd and, of course, Seau.

But those Chargers were strong at quarterback with Stan Humphries and had a quality running back in Marion Butts. The offensive line also was strong than this year's Miami group.

That season didn't end particularly well for the Chargers, who beat Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs before coming down to Pro Player Stadium and getting plastered by the Dophins, 31-0.

Anyone who has watched the first month of the season would think the Dolphins aren't likely to win more than five or six games, let alone challenge for a playoff spot. But don't tell that to any of the players.

"There are a lot of similarities between that team and here," Seau said. "The similarity that we have here is character and personality that can help others that are down. I encourage a lot of veterans to step up and play their game, but more importantly bring someone with you."


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