Looking for Answers

The Dolphins are certainly looking ahead to next year's draft as they've officially become the worst team in the NFL after the Rams got off the schneid with a victory over the Saints.

"They have a great defense. They have young guys on the offensive side of the ball, they are going to improve," said astute Bills safety Donte Whitner. "They will have a high draft pick maybe next year. I think they're a couple of players away from being a good football team."

At 0-9, the Dolphins are too distraught to think about next April.

"No, that's what sucks about it," said Dolphins running back Jesse Chatman, who gained a career-high 124 yards in Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Bills. "Because we're so much better than this record. Man, it's killing us, but we've got to stay on the grind and keep pushing."

Despite continuing their season-long trend of losing key defensive players to injuries, the Dolphins' defense has tightened up in the last two games, albeit both 13-10 losses to Buffalo and the Giants. They held Eli Manning to 49 net passing yards in London, and on Sunday, held Bills quarterback J.P. Losman to a pedestrian 157 yards and a 55.9 passer rating.

Despite the loss of both starting defensive ends -- Jason Taylor (ankle) and Matt Roth (groin) -- in the second half, as well as Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Thomas for the second straight game (migraines), the previous 31st-ranked run defense contained Bills rookie Marshawn Lynch to 61 yards on 19 carries.

Taylor did come back for a couple of plays in the fourth quarter but he said he couldn't gut it out. His comment saying he didn't think it's a sprain seems to say that it could be worse, as in torn ligaments.

Miami came into the game last in third-down conversion defense but held the Bills to two of 10. However, both came during Bills scoring drives in the fourth quarter.

"It's tough because we play good enough to win, I thought on both sides of the ball," Taylor said. "You just have to make plays when it counts and we didn't do that."

Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon seems to be improving on a regular basis, but while he moves the chains and has scored four rushing touchdowns, he seems to be allergic to getting into the end zone via the air. He has just three touchdowns in five games.

"We just couldn't finish drives," Lemon said. "We move the ball pretty effectively but we're just not getting in the end zone."

Chants of, "We want Beck," didn't seem to affect Lemon's concentration or Dolphins coach Cam Cameron's decision to not rush rookie quarterback John Beck into action.

"Having been in situations where the guy is out there and everyone is calling for the other guy, it really can define the guy that's out there to some degree," Cameron said. "You all can see how quickly it can change ... how quickly whether it be the boos or whether it be the chant for someone else can switch to cheers for the guy who's out there."

Lemon bounced back after the chant to lead an 18-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, which he capped off with a 5-yard touchdown run, his fourth of the season to tie a team record.

It seems that the Beck era won't get started until at least the next home game against the hapless 1-8 Jets, because the two-game Pennsylvania swing with the Eagles and Steelers seems too more formidable for an untested rookie.


-- DT Vonnie Holliday returned after missing the last four games with a fractured right ankle and had three tackles and a forced fumble.

-- MLB Zach Thomas missed his second straight game and fourth of the season with concussion, neck and migraines problems. Channing Crowder, who is expected to be Thomas' heir apparent, shifted over from the weak-side and had a team-leading seven tackles.

-- WLB Derrick Pope took Crowder's spot in making his fourth start of the season, and had four tackles.

-- TE David Martin returned to the starting lineup after missing the Giants game with a groin injury and had four catches for 34 yards.

-- RB Lorenzo Booker, a third-round pick out of FSU, finally made his NFL debut in the first quarter on a third-down and short, he took a screen but was stopped short of the first down. However, the play was nullified by an offsides penalty by the Bills. He then was seen on the sidelines working out an apparent tweak in his leg.

-- DE Jason Taylor sat out the second half with an ankle injury. He was replaced in part by LB Donnie Spragan. Taylor said he didn't think it was a sprain and he'll get it further evaluated on Monday.

-- DE Quentin Moses, a rookie out of Georgia picked up a few weeks ago, made his NFL debut when he filled in for injured starter Matt Roth (groin) for most of the second half, and had two tackles.

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