Hapless Dolphins matching records for futility, shut out at home by Patriots

There have been two NFL teams who have finished the regular season 0-16.

The Miami Dolphins might be worse than both of them.

Dolphins shut out at home by Patriots

On Sunday, Miami lost to the New England Patriots, getting shut out at home, 43-0.

New England’s defense got pick-sixes on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter, turning the blowout from sad to embarrassing for the Dolphins.

The last time a team lost a game 43-0 was in the 1999 regular season opener, when the Cleveland Browns fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their return to the NFL after four years.

Miami struggled so mightily to move the ball that at one point in the fourth, after those two interception returns – the first a great play by All-Pro Stephon Gilmore, the second an impressive tip-drill by Jamie Collins – the Patriots had more yards on interception returns (123) than Miami did on offense (93).

Looking at the statistics, there’s not a lot of good for the Dolphins. They were just 2-for-15 on third downs, gained only three yards per play, and turned the ball over four times.

If there’s a sliver of good news for first-year head coach Brian Flores, it’s that his team didn’t lose its cool, finishing with four penalties after recording nine last week.

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Antonio Brown with the New England Patriots
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Antonio Brown with the New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Jomal Wiltz (33) attempts to defend, during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
MIAMI , MA. - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots celebrates his first down catch during the first quarter of the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami , Florida. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
MIAMI , MA. - SEPTEMBER 15: Tom Brady #12 and Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots bump fists during the second quarter of the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami , Florida. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown to practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, walks on the field near wide receiver Antonio Brown (1) as Brown works out during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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The last time the Dolphins were shut out was Week 8 in 2017, a 40-0 loss at Baltimore; the last time New England shut out an opponent was Week 3 of 2016, a 27-0 win over Houston.

Ties record for two-game futility

It gets worse for Miami. In last week’s opener, the team was thumped 59-10 by the Ravens.

So in two games the Dolphins have been outscored 102-10. Only one other team has allowed 102 points over the first two games of the season: The 1973 New Orleans Saints, who were able to right the ship somewhat to finish 5-9.

While second-year quarterback Josh Rosen finished the game after Ryan Fitzpatrick’s two interceptions that were taken back the other way, Flores said after the game that Fitzpatrick will remain the starter for now.

The Dolphins are on the road against the 2-0 Dallas Cowboys next week, so things may not get much better.

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