Making the worst season in team history even more embarrassing, the Miami Dolphins managed to lose a game Sunday to the Chicago Bears, despite the fact both teams had bye weeks.
Dolphin's quarterback Cleo Lemon was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, in the 24-7 loss. Dolphins coach Cam Cameron called it the most humiliating defeat of his career.
"In our previous eight losses, at least we were on the field and had a chance to win," Cameron said in a brief post-game news conference that had all the atmosphere of a funeral. "This time, we weren't even in the ballpark and got our butts handed to us."
Lemon was sacked twice in the game's opening series. His first pass of the game, a deep out thrown in the general direction of wide receiver Marty Booker was snagged by Bears safety Adam Archuleta and returned 54 yards for a touchdown. A 6-yard run by Adrian Peterson on Chicago's next possession helped the bears to an early 14-0 lead. Chicago led 17-0 at halftime after a 32-yard field goal by Robbie Gould, who split the uprights even though he was visiting his parents in Oklahoma City, some 1,400 miles from Miami.
Miami's offense was lethargic all day, putting together only three drives of more than four plays, and two of those ended in interceptions. Miami's only touchdown came in the closing moments of the third quarter, when defensive lineman Jason Taylor scooped up a Jesse Chapman fumble and stumbled 14 yards for the score.
Chicago followed with an impressive 17-play, 92 yard drive that ate up 11 minutes, 22 seconds of the fourth quarter. It was capped by a 1-yard touchdown plunge by reserve fullback Lousaka Polite, who was as surprised as anyone to be beating the Dolphins on a day he had planned to spend shopping with his family at an Oak Park, Ill., mall.
"It's not exactly how I envisioned getting my first career touchdown," Polite said. "But I'll take it."
"I don't know if it can get any worse than this," said Taylor, who had seven tackles, a sack and a backyard cookout with neighbors in addition to his touchdown. "We stink even when we don't play."
One bright spot for the Dolphins: That No. 1 draft pick is getting closer.
"Maybe they'll find someone who doesn't suck quite so completely as we do," Taylor said. "Frankly, we need the help."