From The Other Side, Part 3

The Dolphins open the regular season Sunday against the Jets, and we turned to Jets Confidential publisher Dan Leberfeld to get the lowdown on the opponent. In part 3, Leberfeld offers his thoughts on the game as well as a prediction on the outcome.

Q. How much hype is there in New York for this game in light of Brett Favre's debut and Chad Pennington's game against his former team?

DL: There is a lot of hype. But considering how many people in the New York press and public were critical of Pennington's arm and ability over the years, they probably think this is going to be a cakewalk for the Jets. For such a decent man, he was treated pretty poorly in this market. And while he's saying all the right things in the press this week, he's a very prideful guy, and you know his competitive juices are overflowing inside. If Pennington can help the Jets pull the upset, not only can he shut up a lot of his critics in New York, but he can pay back Jets management for showing him the door in the middle of training camp. And if the Dolphins win this game, I bet the same writers who ran him out of town will suffer amnesia and sing his praises.

Q. What's the biggest key to the game in your eyes?

DL: The biggest key to the game is for the Jets to get constant pressure on Pennington because if they don't, he will pick them apart. With time, with his excellent field vision, he will find an open receiver. If the Jets can get a lot of hits and sacks on Chad, this will help their cause a great deal. The other key is Brett Favre having enough of the system down to function, and not make any critical errors stemming from playbook confusion. After all, he's only been with the Jets a month, so he's still relatively new to the playbook.

Q. Give us your prediction, along with a quick explanation?

DL: I think it will be a close game, but the Jets will win because they have more talent. The Dolphins are at square one of their rebuilding project, and the Jets are in Year Three. The Jets have compiled a lot more talent. The Dolphins will be at that level soon, but right now they have mediocre talent, and this will help the Jets come away with the win.


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