DEFENSE READY FOR CHALLENGE

It doesn't get much easier for the Dolphins defense. After facing Denver's wide array of offensive weapons, they had to deal with Drew Bledsoe and Buffalo's aerial circus. Now, it's Brett Favre, Ahman Green and the Green Bay Packers.

It's another demanding challenge for the Dolphins, but one that could be made a tad easier by the fact that Favre won't be at 100 percent.

Favre is still expected to play, but his mobility doesn't figure to be quite as good considering he's playing with a torn knee ligament.

Yet the Dolphins are still expecting a major challenge.

"Every coach would say stop the run and stop Green," Coach Dave Wannstedt said of the Dolphins' top priority on defense. "I've had some unpleasant experiences with Brett; I can remember the one game where there was no way he was going to play against us — he threw five touchdowns. I have a tough time getting that out of my mind. Obviously, our players have an awful lot of respect for their entire offense."

The Dolphins had success containing the Colts and Broncos offenses on the road this season, but they were manhandled by the Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.

The biggest problem in that game was the inability to contain tight end Tony Gonzalez, which could be cause for concern because Green Bay has a good tight end as well in former University of Miami star Bubba Franks.

The Packers also have made several changes in their wide receiver corps, adding a lot of speed to replace veterans such as Antonio Freeman.

But everything starts with Favre.

"Getting Terry Glenn in there changed up the team and it even helped his attitude," said linebacker Zach Thomas. "He is a great talent and we have to be prepared for that. Overall, (Donald) Driver and all the other guys have stepped up. They have a lot speed.

"Favre can make you look good, too. The running game also makes you look better. They have a power running game and we definitely need to slow down their running game."


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