By Armando Salgueroasalguero@MiamiHerald.com
The wreckage was everywhere Thursday night at Sun Lifeless Stadium.
It was on the scoreboard in full color and high definition and it screamed that the Dolphins not only lost 16-0 to the Bears, but also were dominated in a manner that kept the home fans quiet most of the night before they started racing for the parking lots with more than nine minutes to play.
The Dolphins were shut out at home. And afterward they looked like rubble.
Over there where the optimists had hoped third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen could suddenly, spectacularly turn into the second coming of Tom Brady -- complete with a heroic rise from the bench to a starting job -- we got instead an idea why Thigpen has been a third-string backup so far.
On the sideline where we thought that maybe, just maybe, this coaching staff could patch a lineup leaking injuries with reserves that were prepared and ready to perform, we got disappointment and unspectacular play instead.
On the field where the winning game plan was supposed to include running the ball and stopping the run, we got utter failure. The Miami offense rushed for all of 39 hard-gained yards while the defense yielded rushing yards in chunks -- 135 in all to an unimpressive running team that was averaging 3.8 yards per carry before the game.
``We couldn't get out of our own way on offense,'' coach Tony Sparano said. ``And on defense we couldn't get off the field.''
And then there was Brandon Marshall.
So how did we get here?
It begins with the quarterback position, folks, because this is the NFL and there is no team that can win with inferior quarterback play. The Dolphins have gotten only mediocre play from their quarterbacks so far this season, but the floor on that dropped to downright unacceptable against the Bears.
Thigpen was and has always been erratic. It was that way in Kansas City. It was that way against the Bears.
He threw one interception. But there were a handful of passes that were too high or too low or skipped in front of the receivers.
``He's done a nice job of handling the shotgun snaps,'' was the nicest thing NFL Network analyst Joe Theismann could say about him.
But don't blame Thigpen for this. Remember, because he is erratic, he might find a good game next week. That's how he has been during his NFL career.
The greater, more distressing worry is that the players Miami expects to play exceedingly well are not exactly getting that done.
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