Rivalry renewed

The Jets-Dolphins matchup this weekend will not have any playoff implications whatsoever if New England beats Tampa Bay on Saturday, but that doesn't mean there will be any less intensity. It is, after all, Jets vs. Dolphins.

Through the years, there's probably not a team that's been a bigger rival to the Dolphins, in part because of the usually large number of Jets fan when the teams play in Miami.

It probably won't be any different this season even the Jets come to Miami with a 3-10 record.

You just know that some Jets fans will be able to digest their bad season a lot easier if they can beat the Dolphins in Miami and complete the season sweep.

"Everybody knows how much the Jets and Dolphins have a dislike, I guess, for each," said Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor. "Players dislike players when on the field. In this day and age, you have some friends on the other team, but the rivalry is still there."

It is a rivalry that, unfortunately for the Dolphins, has been dominated by the guys from New York lately.

The Jets won eight in a row against Miami before the Dolphins snapped the skid with a two-game sweep in 2003. But the Jets have bounced back with three consecutive victories, including a 17-7 decision in Week 2 this season.

This, however, is a totally different Jets team that will come to Miami. Gone are quarterback Chad Pennington, running back Curtis Martin, center Kevin Mawae and offensive tackle Jason Fabini, among others.

The Jets are now down to Brooks Bollinger as their starting quarterback and Cedric Houston as their starting tailback.

But don't think for a second the Dolphins are about to take these new-look Jets lightly.

"You're playing against different people, but who are we?" Taylor wondered. "Who are we to say we are going to kick their butts because they have guys hurt. New England had a bunch of guys hurt when they played us and they won.

"It doesn't matter who is on the field, what numbers or what name is on the back of their jersey, it's still the Jets and the Dolphins and it's still a big game."


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