|Jets and Dolphins renew rivalry with both seeking first win of the season|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 20 September 2007 13:57|
``There's no bigger way to get ready for the next week than to have the Jets coming up,'' Taylor said. ``It's obviously a big game for both teams and the rivalry is there. The need to get a win on both teams is there, so it adds that much fuel to an already fiery situation.''
That's because the winner of Sunday's game will be 1-2, while the loser will fall into an early season hole at 0-3.
``Anytime that we play the Dolphins, I don't care if we're 0-10 and they're 0-10, it's going to be a good game because that's the way the Jets and Dolphins play each other,'' Jets wide receiver Laveranues Coles said. ``You know that you have to be ready to play.''
The Jets are 0-2 for the first time since 2003, and have twice bounced back from similar starts to make the playoffs. The last time was in 1998, when New York finished 12-4 and lost to Denver in the AFC championship.
``You don't want to go down to 0-3, but you don't want to say it's a must-win because that puts all this added pressure and added stress that you don't need,'' Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. ``For us, we just want to win badly because we haven't won yet.''
The Dolphins also know that a loss Sunday won't necessarily ruin their season, but they want to soon get rookie coach Cam Cameron his first victory.
``If you fold after two games, you're not a competitor,'' linebacker Channing Crowder said.
Cameron is off to the worst start of any first-year Miami coach since George Wilson dropped his first five games with the AFL expansion team in 1966. That team finished 3-11, the worst season in franchise history.
``We keep shooting ourselves in the foot,'' said Taylor, last season's Defensive Player of the Year. ``We've done that for what seems like the last five years now, but we've done it for the last two weeks. We had a chance to win both games and gave them away at the end.''
Miami had five turnovers converted into 13 points by Dallas in last week's 37-20 loss. In the opener at Washington, the Dolphins appeared to be driving for the winning touchdown before a holding penalty and an intentional grounding call forced them to settle for Jay Feely's 36-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining in regulation.
``We have a lot of ways we can improve and we knew that coming into the season,'' Cameron said. ``This is a team that will continue to get better and better. I think we all want to get off to a fast start and, obviously, that has not happened.''
Two major reasons have been the ineffectiveness of the running game and the inconsistency of new starting quarterback Trent Green. The Dolphins have just 127 yards rushing in two games as Ronnie Brown has struggled after running for 1,008 yards last season.
Green has thrown for 506 yards and three touchdowns, but was booed last week after he threw four interceptions, fumbled and accepted the blame for a bad snap that caused another turnover.
``If we can cut those things out, we've got a great opportunity,'' Brown said. ``But if we're going to continue to do this, we're going to get the same results.''
Miami's run defense, usually one of its strengths, has also struggled through the first two games. The Dolphins have allowed 357 yards rushing, a 4.6-yard average, and ranks 31st in the NFL in yards rushing allowed.
``We are a much better defense than that,'' linebacker Joey Porter said. ``It's kind of embarrassing.''
It might be a great opportunity for Thomas Jones to have his first big game for the Jets. Jones, acquired in the offseason to give New York a bona fide No. 1 running back, has just 109 yards on 38 carries.
``We're close,'' Jones said. ``It's just a matter of executing and taking advantage of what the defense gives us.''
Chad Pennington is hoping to start at quarterback this week after being the No. 2 behind Kellen Clemens in the Jets' 20-13 loss at Baltimore because of a sprained right ankle. Clemens was impressive while leading the Jets on a fourth-quarter comeback, but coach Eric Mangini has said Pennington is the starter as long as he's healthy. Pennington looked good in practice during the week, and was hoping to play Sunday.
``My whole focus is on the Miami Dolphins,'' Pennington said. ``I'm not looking behind me or too far ahead. I'm looking to today to get better and see what I can do to help us win.''
Both teams want to leave Giants Stadium on Sunday with a win. Whether it's been Miami's mud-filled 14-0 victory in the 1982 AFC championship or New York's ``Monday Night Miracle'' in 2000, the rivalry usually produces it share of exciting moments.
``These are always fun and energetic and pressure-filled games to play in,'' Taylor said. ``I'm sure this one will be no different.''
AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this report.