Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- The Miami Dolphins are so terrible that even their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills, are starting to feel sorry for them.
Safety Donte Whitner, of course, wasn't sympathetic until after the Bills completed a 38-17 rout Sunday, handing Miami its 13th straight defeat to start the season, and 16th straight dating to last year.
"I was talking to Booker out there, and he was saying,
Man, I don't know what it feels like to win in this league, yet," Whitner said, referring to Dolphins rookie running back Lorenzo Booker. "And I said,You know, don't stress over it. ... Things are going to get better."
Not any time soon by the way things look.
There once was a time when Miami could at least keep scores respectable, losing six times by three points. The Dolphins (0-13), coming off a 40-13 loss to the Jets last weekend, can't even do that now, and have moved within one loss of matching the NFL record for worst start to a season.
And it's not out of the question for them to become the first team to go winless in a 16-game campaign, surpassing Tampa Bay's 0-14 record as an expansion team in 1976.
"They're all frustrating. And they all weigh on you more and more," defensive end Jason Taylor said. "You lost another game. You wish it was the other way around."
The Bills (7-6) won for the sixth time in eight games to stay in the AFC playoff hunt. They can now look to a critical outing at Cleveland next weekend.
The Dolphins began unraveling before the snow started falling and the field became slick before halftime. The game was effectively over when Buffalo took advantage of two turnovers and three sacks to build a 24-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The 24 points were the most scored by the Bills in the first quarter since putting up 28 against Atlanta on Nov. 22, 1992.
Trouble is, Miami put up such a weak fight that it's difficult to gauge how good the Bills were.
Rookie quarterback Trent Edwards' four touchdown passes, including two to tight end Robert Royal, were the most since Drew Bledsoe had that many for Buffalo in 2004. The four TD passes were two fewer than the Bills had all this season.
Buffalo's 38 points was a season high and three short of what the team combined for in its three previous games.
"We're starting to believe in what the coaches are saying and what the team leaders are saying," Edwards said. "We feel pretty confident right now."
The Bills' running attack produced two 100-yard rushers for the first time since 1996, with Fred Jackson having 115 and Marshawn Lynch adding 107.
"I feel for Miami, but obviously, we wanted to beat them as bad as we possibly could here," coach Dick Jauron said. "All in all, it was an outstanding win."
Safety George Wilson even got into the scoring, capitalizing on one of the more laughable moments. On his ninth play from scrimmage, rookie Dolphins starter John Beck was untouched in the pocket when the ball slipped out of his hand and fell directly into Wilson's arms, allowing the converted receiver to score his second defensive touchdown this year.
Wilson is out indefinitely after breaking two ribs in the first quarter. Jauron said the player was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Beck was yanked after Wilson's score, and veteran backup Cleo Lemon didn't do much better.
After engineering a two-play 66-yard scoring drive, capped by Samkon Gado's 12-yard run, Lemon threw two interceptions including one picked off by Whitner after the quarterback attempted a play-action fake with no one in his backfield.
"Our backs are up against the wall as a team," said Beck, who didn't know whether he's lost the starting job. "The road is rough for some reason right now. For me, I have to keep fighting."
Game notes The Dolphins had previously never lost 13 games in one season. ... Gado also scored on a 20-yard touchdown and finished with 52 yards rushing in his first start since he was with Houston last year. ... The Dolphins are now off to the third-worst start to a season in NFL history, joining Oakland (1962) and Indianapolis (1986). Their 16-game losing streak, which dates to last season, matches the eighth longest streak in NFL history. ... Bills PK Rian Lindell set a franchise record by hitting his 18th consecutive field goal, a 51-yarder in the first quarter. His string ended on his next attempt, pushing a 46-yarder wide left.