Shula said, "We stunk," after the New England tragedy, and then he added that the Patriots played an inspired game. Coaches can have it both ways. He wasn't tickled to death in Buffalo, but then he said cheerfully that the Dolphins were 1-1 at this same time a year ago.
Maybe, as the old joke goes, the reports of Miami's death were greatly exaggerated, and maybe there is some truth to what Larry Little, the wealthy guard, said in Buffalo, which was, "Nobody loves us but us." Maybe what it all comes down to is that New England and Buffalo are teams that are going to have to be reckoned with all season, and the Dolphins just happened to find it out before anyone else.
In the meantime the Dolphins are going to stay under the microscope until they stack up some bodies who don't fumble. As one of the Dolphin coaches, Monte Clark, said, "Right now, we're just trying to fight our way back to the scrimmage line."