I interrupt the ongoing verbal battle between Channing Crowder and Rex Ryan to bring you our regular Thursday offseason feature - "Three Up and Three Down" - where I simply pick some Dolphin-related topic and start the conversation by giving three positive and three negative answers.
Today I wanted to look at the Dolphins 2009 schedule and give you the three games I'm most excited for and the three games I'm least excited for - with the obvious caveat being that, though I'm saying those three games are the games I'm "least excited for," that doesn't mean I'm not excited for them...I'm excited for them all.
So check out my lists below and them give us your thoughts.
THREE GAMES I'M MOST EXCITED FOR
Week 5: Dolphins vs Jets - After everything that has gone down already between Channing Crower and Jets head coach Rex Ryan, it's impossible to not have this game circled as the game of 2009's first half. Throw in the fact that it's a Monday Night game in Miami and what you have is the makings of "must see TV." This rivalry is already my favorite. The Jets have long been the team I've hated the most in any professional sport. This offseason has just further cemented my hate for them. As much fun as it was to have their former quarterback return to the Meadowlands last season in week 17 and win the AFC East in front of their home crowd, beating the mouthy jackass known as Rex Ryan on national television might be even more fun.
Week 2: Dolphins vs Colts - This one was also a "no-brainer." It's the Dolphins' home opener and it's on Monday Night against one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. It'll be a huge early season litmus test for Miami's upgraded defense. It'll be imperative to get a good pass rush and disrupt Peyton Manning. And it'll be a terrific chance for the young cornerbacks to prove themselves and build some confidence early on in the season. After all, if you can contain Indy's passing attack, you have proven you can play in this league.
Week 9: Dolphins at Patriots - The Dolphins will head back to Foxborough and play in front of the same fans that they made head to the exists with basically the entire fourth quarter remaining last year. It's also nice that the Dolphins get the trip to New England out of the way before mid November for the second straight season. It'll be the first time the Dolphins get a look at Tom Brady since 2007 and will be a chance to see how much the young players in the secondary have improved since early on in the season.
THREE GAMES I'M LEAST EXCITED FOR
Week 3: Dolphins at Chargers - Don't get me wrong - I'm not scared of San Diego. The Dolphins handled the Chargers last season and have won the last seven meetings between these two teams dating back to 1995. But I really don't like how the NFL is forcing the Dolphins to head out west to San Diego less than a week after hosting the Monday Night game. A west-coast game coming off of a short week is a tough situation for any team to face. Poor job scheduling by the NFL.
Week 11: Dolphins at Panthers - Again - I'm not scared of the Panthers, either - though they are a very good team and it's going to be a very tough game in Carolina. The Dolphins have actually never lost to the Panthers (3-0). But I hate the Thursday night games. I strongly hate them. Let me get this straight - you play a game on Sunday and then have just two days before you have to hop on a plane on Wednesday and get to another city to play another game the following night? And what for? Oh - that's right - just to help improve the league's bottom line and to help the NFL Network get more exposure on cable companies across America. Ugh. Did I mention how much I hate the Thursday night games?
Week 17: Dolphins vs Steelers - This is a very tough way to close out the regular season. The Dolphins have lost the last three games against the Steelers. And I just never enjoy facing the defending Super Bowl Champions in the final game of the season. Do I think this game is a lock for a loss? Of course not. But it's likely going to be a very physical game and playing very good and very physical teams are never a good way to close out the regular season if you plan on making a long playoff run.