After starting the season on the road 2-0 and standing alone on top of the AFC East, your Miami Dolphins come home this weekend to host the hated New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium Sunday night. It's been quite the eventful week for both teams. For the Fins, there's the controversy of who allowed a John Denver song to be played over the loud speakers during practice today. For the Jets, there's their top receiver getting clipped for DWI earlier this week. Everyone has their cross to bear!
This game isn't without its share of subplots courtesy of the Jets. Besides Braylon Edwards' DWI arrest, the Jets are dealing with an injury to their best player, corner back Darrelle Revis. There's also the return of Jason Taylor, the beloved Dolphins icon who has turned to the Dark Side. And then there was that time Jets head coach Rex Ryan flipped the bird to Miami fans at an MMA strikeforce event here in Miami during the offseason. That Rex Ryan is a delight!
Here's what the Dolphins need to do to secure their THIRD STRAIGHT WIN over the Jets, subplots be damned:
1. Let Chad Henne Play!: It's no secret the Jets defense approaches a game like Rex Ryan approaches a Supreme Burrito. Aggressive, physical and in-your-face (because he's very fat, you see). The Jets D brings all kinds of deceptive blitz packages and like to rattle the opposing quarterback by getting in his head and forcing bad throws and turnovers. They did this to the Patriots' Tom Brady last week with much success. The Dolphins' Chad Henne has yet to throw an interception this season. And while that's the sign of an efficient quarterback, it's also the sign of a timid quarterback, when you compare it to his 61.1 passer rating and 296 total yards, and 1 total TD in two weeks of work. Henne has been playing it safe, which is why the Dolphins offense is ranked among the lowest in the league. But in two games played against the Jets in his career, Henne has thrown for 353 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Both games were wins. This week, the Jets will be without their shutdown corner, and Henne has Brandon Marshall at his disposal. It's time to unleash The Robot. It might mean the end of all humanity as we know it. But by God we need to take that risk!
2. Bring The Heat!: The Dolphins defense is tied with the Steelers for the least points allowed so far this season (20). Last week they intercepted Brett Favre three times, forced him to fumble in the endzone and stuffed Adrian Peterson on a fourth and goal. The Dolphins D knows how to dent an ass or two. The reason they know how to do this is because they feature their own aggressive, confusing blitzing style born from the mad mind of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Last season, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was sacked 26 times and threw 20 interceptions. Against a hard-hitting Ravens defense in Week 1, Sanchez threw for a measly 10-for-21 and 74 total yards. So, for the defense, it's clear: Blitz and bring the pressure on Sanchez. All. Night. Long.
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3. Everything Is So Orange!: The Dolphins will be sporting their orange jerseys Sunday night, handing out orange rally towels to the fans at the gate, asking the fans to dress in orange, and even having the city of Miami light some of its buildings orange. It'll be like they're playing on the surface of the sun! On top of this, some of the defensive players have been asking fans to howl like wolves when the defense is on the field. The defensive squad's slogan is "Feed The Wolf," in case you were thinking perhaps the Dolphins defensive squad is made up of crazy persons who ask for random nutty shit from the fans.
But, in the end, what's going to get the Dolphins their third straight win of the season and their third straight win over the hated Jets is good old fashioned, hard-nosed football. Pounding the ball, putting the ball in Brandon Marshall's hands, not turning the ball over, and holding back from dumb penalties. That and dressing up in orange from head to toe and howling like a goddamn wolf for three hours.
LET'S DO THIS!