Redskins-Dolphins Preview

BY foxsports • November 9, 2011

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.