Miami Dolphins Preview: Grudge Match
Tonight is the Judgment Day, Hour of Reckoning, massively hysterical, Road to Armageddon, cats-and-dogs-living-together apocalyptic showdown between the Dolphins and Jets at Land Shark Stadium. Here are three key factors:
1. Rex Ryan Knows How to Stop the Wildcat, Can Eat an Entire X-Mas Ham: Yes, Jets head coach Rex Ryan acts like that obnoxious fat kid you knew in high school who could recite The Phantom Menace word for word. And yes, he looks like the kind of guy who'd want you to dare him to eat an entire Arby's menu. But the man is a defensive mastermind. As the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens last year, Ryan shut down the Wildcat twice -- once in the regular season, and again in the playoffs. Tonight the Jets and their top-ranked defense will try to stifle the Dolphins top-ranked Wildcat-fueled run game. Like a whole roasted pig versus Ryan's mouth, something's gonna have to give. Look for the Fins to mix things up on offense to keep the Jets D off balance. Look for a few mustard stains on Ryan's hoodie.
2. Channing Crowder and The 0.0 Sacks Shim-Sham: Aside from a much-ballyhooed verbal spat with Rex Ryan in the off-season, we haven't heard much from Channing Crowder this year. Four games into the season, Crowder has registered no sacks, no interceptions and only 14 tackles. This just might be the game where Channing goes off. Not only did Channing stoke the flames when he called Ryan and the Jets the OTA Super Bowl champs in the off-season, he apparently has a special celebration dance prepared just for tonight's game. And if there was ever an incentive for us to see Channing Crowder make a big play... But, hey, whatever it takes. The Fins need a big game from Channing tonight. While he's been stout in run defense, Crowder is well off the pace to get to 100 tackles for the season. However, keep in mind that he's completely nuts. So he has that going for him.
3. The Robot Will Yell Expletives At You, And You Will Like It: While Chad Henne is a robot, he isn't without the occasional display of human emotion in the huddle. And by that we mean his penchant to switch from Standard Operating Systems Mode to Angry Sailor Mode. Players took note of Henne's intensity during last week's 38-10 win over the Bills. Some of the things Henne yelled "were explicit," said guard Justin Smiley. "He was like, 'We've got to get out there and drive the spike, put your foot on their throat.'" Apparently Henne also has a Jules-from-Pulp-Fiction mode as well. Henne's poise will be key. The Jets are expected to throw everything at him. Kitchen sinks, laundry machines, live cattle, the works. Time for Henne to show some of that intense leadership against the Jets and their fans on the Monday Night stage. Time to switch to Kill-All-Insufferable-Douchenozzles mode.