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Jets vs. the Fish: an Unappreciated Rivalry

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Everyone knows about the rivalry with the Jets and the Patriots with all the smack talk and the spy gate scandal etc. But there is another Jets rivalry that has been over looked lately.

The Jets and Dolphins, who face off Monday Night on Oct. 12, have been rivals ever since the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970, when the Jets and Dolphins were placed in the same division.

Although the Jets lead the series 46-40-1, the Dolphins lead the Jets in most of the playoff statistics.

Dolphins have more division titles with 16, while the Jets have two. The Dolphins have more Super Bowl appearances then the Jets, six to one. And the Dolphins have more super bowl rings then the Jets, two to one.

But recently there have been some sparks to help revive the rivalry.

  1. Rex Ryan vs. Channing Crowder: This war of words started off with Channing Crowder, linebacker for the Dolphins, commented about Ryan’s smack talk in the off-season.

“Oh, he’s going crazy,” said Crowder. “He’s going absolutely nuts, I know it’s his first chance to be a head coach, and I know he’s excited about life. But I’ve never played a football game in June in my life. So congratulations to him. He’s the OTA Super Bowl winner,” Crowder said.

Soon after, Ryan fired back. “I don’t know this Channing Crowder. All I know is that he’s all tatted up, so I guess I ought to be nervous about him. If I was younger, I’d probably handle him myself,” Ryan said.

Crowder responded to Ryan’s comment. “He says he’d take care of me if he was younger? I’d have beat the hell out of that big old joker. Or if he really wants to get retro, my daddy or my uncle could have handled him. Don’t get big. Win with preparation? Start watching some tape and learn who your rival is. Come on now.”

Although it ends there, the tension between the two teams is still evident—both teams have probably posted comments on their locker-room bulletin boards this week. You know the Jets nation forums are posting some humorous quotes from fans.

2. Chad Pennington: The Jets ended their relationship with Pennington, cruelly dumping him for Brett Favre in the 2008 off-season—only one day after the former Jets QB signed with the Dolphins in a two year, $11.5 million contract.

Brett Favre eventually seemed like a successful decision when the Jets were 8-3 and on top of the division. However, it was all downhill from there, as the Jets finished 9-7 missing the playoffs. All the while, Chad Pennington was leading the Dolphins to an 11-5 record, resulting in a  Division Title.

Unfortunately, the Jets will not get their revenge on Pennington, Monday night, as he is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

3. Dolphins beat the Jets to win Division title: It was the last game of the 2008 season. The Jets were 9-6, while the Dolphins were 10-5. Both teams needed a win to get into the playoffs—there was no tomorrow for either team.

Miami eventually outplayed the Jets, as costly mistakes and questionable throws from Brett Favre lead to three interceptions. Chad Pennington threw two touchdowns, leading the Dolphins to their first division title since 2000.

As Tony Sparano said, “It is probably not going to be for the meek on either side of the ball.” So make sure you catch the Monday Night Football game, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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