|With 2 wins, Jets heading to Miami as underdogs against 0-11 Dolphins|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 29 November 2007 14:03|
``We're an underdog every week, I think,'' right guard Brandon Moore said Thursday.
Well, they opened as favorites three times this season - and lost two of those games. That helps explain why the Jets (2-9) again carry the underdog label into Sunday's meeting with the Dolphins (0-11), who are favored by as many as 1 1/2 points in various sports books. A slight underdog, sure, but still enough to qualify as disrespect.
``An insult? We've had a lot of insults this year,'' Moore said. ``Guys are just trying to go out and get another win and get things going a little bit more positively around here. Underdog, points and all that, guys aren't concerned about that. We've been dealing with it all year.''
But why would the Jets be considered more likely to lose against a winless team?
``I don't know how sports bookies and all that make underdogs,'' Moore said, ``so I don't have any idea.''
Keith Glantz, whose Glantz-Culver line out of Las Vegas has the Dolphins installed as a one-point favorite, likes what he's seen from Miami recently.
``I know they haven't won a game yet, but they are at home and they have been competitive, especially in their last three games,'' Glantz said. ``It just looks like this is a team that wants to win a game.''
Glantz also likes the fact the Dolphins have lost six games by three points each, including their earlier matchup against the Jets. Meanwhile, New York is coming off its worst loss of the season, 34-3 at Dallas last Thursday.
``They probably don't want to be the first team to lose to the Dolphins, but I think there's more motivation for Miami to not finish without a win,'' Glantz said.
Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson said the Jets aren't focused on Miami's record, ``because we know that a lot of their games have been won or lost by a touchdown or points less than that.''
``It's not really a situation where you say they are 0-11, this is in the bag,'' he said. ``It is more a situation of saying this is a great team.''
That might be a bit of a stretch, but it is true the Dolphins have gotten close to pulling off that elusive first victory. They nearly had it Monday when they fell 3-0 in the rain and slop at Pittsburgh.
The weather could play a role again Sunday. While the temperature has been in the 40s all week in New York, it's expected to be sunny and in the low-80s at kickoff at Miami. To better prepare for the weather, coach Eric Mangini has had the Jets practice in the bubble - the Jetrodome - to simulate the warmer temperatures of Miami.
``It's the same pressure every week,'' safety Kerry Rhodes said. ``You have to take everybody the same way. You have to approach every game the same way. It sounds the same, but that's the way that we go about things. We know that they can play with everybody.''
The Jets held on for a 31-28 victory when the teams played in Week 3, but a number of key players on both sides won't be on the field this time around.
Rookie John Beck is the Dolphins quarterback instead of Trent Green, and Kellen Clemens will be leading the Jets in place of Chad Pennington. Miami will also be without the injured Ronnie Brown, who scored three touchdowns in the last meeting, and the since-traded Chris Chambers, who had 101 yards receiving. The Jets could be without top wide receivers Laveranues Coles (ankle) and Jerricho Cotchery (finger), and linebacker Jonathan Vilma is out for the year with a knee injury.
``There's definitely elements of that where there has been quite a bit of changeover,'' Mangini said. ``They've been consistent, though, with the offensive line. That's one place where it's been steady over the course of time. What you do see is a lot of carry-over between the two teams in what they're running offensively.''
That's not necessarily a good thing. Miami is ranked 27th in the league on offense, while New York is even worse at 30th.
``We played them early in the year and they had not really formed an identity with what they wanted to do,'' said linebacker David Bowens, a former Dolphin. ``Now, 11 games in, we have more film to look at and more things to go on.''
The Jets only hope that's enough to prevent what would be their most embarrassing loss in some time.
``We're trying to go out and get a win, man,'' Moore said. ``Whether they're 0-11 or 11-0, guys are just trying to get a win, win No. 3, and get going and get positive because we enjoyed the feeling we had against Pittsburgh. It was short-lived, but we're trying to get back to that, that winning feeling.''