Redskins-Dolphins Preview

The Miami Dolphins are certainly feeling good coming off their

first victory.

Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck is still searching for

his.

Going up against his former team, Beck looks to help the

Redskins avoid losing a fifth consecutive game for the first time

in 10 years when they visit the Dolphins on Sunday.

After opening with seven consecutive defeats, Miami took out its

frustration last Sunday with a 31-3 rout of Kansas City. The

Dolphins (1-7), who rank 25th in the league with 17.3 points per

game, didn’t look like a team that has struggled to score as Matt

Moore threw for a season-high 244 yards and three touchdowns.

Miami’s win was the third-largest margin of victory ever by a

team that was 0-7 or worse entering the game. The Dolphins didn’t

commit a turnover after having one in 22 consecutive contests,

leaving Washington (3-5) with the longest active streak with a

turnover – also 22 games.

“It was absolutely great to get a little reward for all the work

we’ve put in, just to have that feeling of getting a win under your

belt,” Moore said. “I think guys now understand that, ‘Yeah we can

do this,’ and they’re hungry and we’re going to enjoy this one and

get ready for Washington.”

That means preparing for Beck’s return. He was a second-round

pick of the Dolphins in 2007, but he failed to record a win in five

games that year – four starts – and was released after the 2008

season.

Beck didn’t get another start until last month, a week after

replacing Rex Grossman under center during a loss to Philadelphia

on Oct. 16. He fell to 0-3 as Washington’s starter after throwing

for 254 yards with a TD and an interception in a 19-11 loss to San

Francisco last Sunday.

“When you’re the quarterback and the team hasn’t been winning

games, you want to step up to the plate,” Beck told the Redskins’

official website. “You want to win games. I think in the league,

week-in and week-out you see it – the desire to win, the feel for

the need to win a game. It’s always there.

“There’s always pressure every week regardless of who you’re

playing or the situation you’re in. Even when you’re winning all

your games or you’re not – there’s always pressure to win.”

Last Sunday marked the fourth straight loss overall for the

Redskins, who haven’t dropped five in a row since Sept. 9-Oct. 15,

2001.

The Redskins have been outscored 95-44 during their skid,

including a 23-0 loss to Buffalo the previous week – the first time

coach Mike Shanahan has been shut out in 24 years a head coach or

an assistant.

“If we come out and get some points on the board early, maybe

the game would be different,” receiver Jabar Gaffney said. “But

these last four games, we’ve fallen behind in all of them and, it’s

like, as soon as the other team scores, it’s not the same feeling

on the sideline. People aren’t looking the same, aren’t playing the

same.”

With Tim Hightower (torn ACL) out for the season and Ryan Torain

struggling, Shanahan turned to versatile rookie running back Roy

Helu last Sunday. Making his first career start, Helu rushed for 41

yards on 10 carries and set a franchise record with 14 receptions

for 105 yards.

The fourth-round pick out of Nebraska, though, did lose a key

fumble which led to a San Francisco touchdown.

“Helu has the speed to make some big plays,” Shanahan said. “I

think you can see he is a pretty good all-around back. He made some

plays. I think he’d like to have that fumble back.”

Shanahan has yet to announce who will start against the

Dolphins. Miami has surrendered an average of 140.3 rushing yards

in three home games this season.

The Dolphins have lost seven straight and 12 of 13 at Sun Life

Stadium. Washington is 0-4 all-time at Miami but took the last

meeting between the teams, 16-13 in overtime Sept. 9, 2007.

The Dolphins are expected to have Vontae Davis back this week

after the cornerback was disciplined and held out against the

Chiefs for showing up late to practice.