Every quarterback remembers the first time they took the field in a regular-season NFL game.
Ryan Tannehill can’t help but wince when asked about his.
It was back on Sept. 9, 2012, and he was awful.
Tannehill threw three second-quarter interceptions and had three more passes tipped at the line by J.J. Watt as the Houston Texans blew out the Dolphins 30-10.
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“I remember that we got off to a bad start there,” Tannehill said with great understatement.
Speaking about the Texans team with which he spent four years before signing with Miami in 2014, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell said: “We definitely had some good teams at the time. At the time, here, guys were younger. Ryan was younger. But I think guys are a little bit more mature now and really up to the task.”
What Tannehill might not have known at the time: his Lone Star low was simply part of his Dolphins initiation.
The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans in seven meetings.
And if the Texans, who visit Sun Life Stadium on Sunday in a matchup of sub-.500 teams, prevail again, they will be part of history.
The Dolphins’ longest losing streak to one team is eight games, achieved twice by the Jets. The Dolphins began playing the Jets twice annually in 1966; they didn’t beat the Jets until Oct. 10, 1970. Gang Green also took eight in a row between 1998 and 2001.
So it’s fair to say Miami is due Sunday, right?
“You’d like to think that,” interim Dolphins coach Dan Campbell said. “The odds say at some point, you’ve got to be due, right? When you get beat that many times? But you can’t put a lot of stock into that. We have a new team. They have a new team. It’s a new season. It doesn’t matter. You’ve got to play good football to win.”
Said defensive end Cameron Wake, 0-3 all-time against Houston: “I think this franchise is due, period. I don’t think the Texans have an X on them or a mark on them. It’s just, in general, we’ve been underperforming, obviously, since I’ve been here. What do they say? The bridesmaid and not the bride? Always one step away from being where we’re supposed to be.”
That has been doubly true against the Texans.
Read on, Dolphins fans — if you have the stomach:
When: Sept. 7, 2003.
Score: Texans 21, Dolphins 20.
Recap: Kris Brown booted through his fifth and final field goal — from 35 yards out — with less than half a minute remaining to stun the host Dolphins. Miami’s players talked trash before the game, but Houston’s players got the last laugh afterward.
Impact: The Dolphins (9-7) finished in a three-way tie for first in the AFC but missed the playoffs because of tiebreakers. The Texans went on to win just three other games all season.
When: Oct. 1, 2006.
Score: Texans 17, Dolphins 15.
Recap: Another season, another wild finish. The Dolphins, down by eight points, scored a touchdown with 1:39 left, and of course went for two. But Mario Williams tipped a pass intended for Ronnie Brown, handing the Dolphins their third loss in four games.
Impact: Very little. Nick Saban almost certainly would have bolted for Alabama after the season anyway, and both teams finished an irrelevant 6-10.
When: Oct. 7, 2007.
Score: Texans 22, Dolphins 19.
Recap: Just call Kris Brown the Dolphin slayer. For the second time in five seasons, he drilled a late kick to beat Miami. The second one was even more impressive than the first. Brown connected from 57 yards with one second left on the clock.
Impact: Win or lose, this still would have been the worst season in Dolphins history. Miami went 1-15 and again changed coaches. Houston finished .500 for the first time.
When: Oct. 12, 2008.
Score: Texans 29, Dolphins 28.
Recap: Once again, the game hinged on a late play. And yet again, the Texans made it. Matt Shaub’s game-winning touchdown dive from 3 yards out came with just three seconds remaining.
Impact: Literally none for Miami. The Dolphins (11-5) were the AFC’s third seed with the loss. They would have been the third seed with a win. The Texans again went 8-8.
When: Dec. 27, 2009.
Score: Texans 27, Dolphins 20.
Recap: Houston raced out to a 27-0 halftime lead and held off a late Miami charge, all but eliminating the Dolphins from the playoffs. Chad Henne threw 55 times — never a good proposition — and the Texans limited the Dolphins to 60 rushing yards.
Impact: Chad Pennington’s shoulder injury did more damage to the Dolphins’ season than the Texans did. Miami limped to a 7-9 record. The outcome helped give Houston (9-7) its first winning record.
When: Sept. 18, 2011.
Score: Texans 23, Dolphins 13.
Recap: Andre Johnson loves playing in his hometown. The former Miami Hurricanes star roasted Nolan Carroll with a 23-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Daniel Thomas had 107 rushing yards for Miami.
Impact: It helped end the Tony Sparano Era. This was the second of seven consecutive Dolphins (6-10) losses to start the season. The Texans (10-6) finished a game ahead of the Titans for the AFC South title.
When: Sept. 9, 2012.
Score: Texans 30, Dolphins 10.
Recap: Here’s how you spoil a coaching debut. You watch in horror as your team surrenders 24 points in just over six minutes in the second quarter. That’s how Joe Philbin’s first game got away from him. Perhaps we should have known then what was to come.
Impact: Draft positioning for the Dolphins, who finished 7-9 in Philbin’s first season. And again, the win gave the Texans breathing room in the AFC South. Houston (12-4) finished a game ahead of second-place Indianapolis.