Last week's game still makes me sick. I hate when the Dolphins lose to the Jets. It's a pain we fans haven't felt since September 2008. And, it just flat out sucks.
Like I said, we haven't felt this since 2008. Do you realize how long ago that was? Since that loss, we saw the Dolphins become 2008 AFC East Champions, fought until the last week of 2009 for a playoff spot, and started 2010 2&0. What a great span between losses to the Jets.
And, more importantly, this Miami Dolphins team is 2&1, tied for first place in the AFC East.
The last time the Dolphins started a season 2&1 was in 2005, when, coincidentally, the loss came at the hands of the Jets. Miami went 9&7 that year, finishing one game behind the Patriots for the Division Championship. It's been 5 years since Miami could boast of a 2&1 record, and yet all of us feel like the air has been let out of the season. Why?
I'm right there with all of you. It's hard to write this Perspective this week. It's hard to be excited this week. Miami lost to the Jets, and it feels like the season is headed in the 2007 direction.
But, it's not. It's nowhere near that. The Jets are actually a really good team. Mark Sanchez actually has some talent. Number 99 actually can still get to a quarterback. And, yet, the Dolphins were right there, looking to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Yes, mistakes and poor defensive play put the team in a hole. But, they fought back. They wanted it. That's a hunger that really has been missing from Miami for a long, long time.
And yet, all of us are still reeling from this loss.
Well, you know what? It's time to move on. It's time to look forward. It's time to get ready for the Patriots. It's time to get ready for Monday Night Football.
Monday Night Football. New England Patriots. A team that has won 7 Division Championships since 2000 - including 6 of the last 7. The one year they didn't win it? Oh, that's right. The Dolphins did.
The New England Patriots. A team that has gone to the Super Bowl 6 times since the Dolphins last made it to the big game. A team that has won 3 rings, all since 200, compared to the Dolphins 2 rings from back in the 70's.
The New England Patriots. A team with "The Golden Boy." A team that snatched Wes Welker from Miami.
The New England Patriots.
As most of you know, I loathe the Jets. I despise the Jets. I hate the Jets.
But the Patriots aren't far behind.
As we all lick the wounds caused by the Dolphins loss to the Jets, let's not lose focus of the Patriots. The season isn't even 25% complete yet. A win against the Pats makes Miami 3&1 to start the year - 3&1 going into the bye.
And 3&1 is a lot better sounding than 2&2.
So, are you ready for some football?
1. Pittsburgh Steelers(Last Week: 5) Wasn't all the pre-season talk how the Steelers just needed to stay afloat until they got Big Ben back, then they could make a run? Well, I think they may have "stayed afloat." One more game, and they can go from their fourth string QB to their first.
2. Indianapolis Colts (4) - It's not easy to go into Denver and win. Fortunately for the Colts, the Broncos call Denver home.
3. New Orleans Saints (1) - Last week they held the #1 position because they are the defending Super Bowl Champs and they were undefeated. Well, Atlanta took care of that second part.
4. Green Bay Packers (3) - Packers have to be a better team than the Bears, right?
5. Baltimore Ravens (6) - Top ranked defense in the league. Is anyone surprised by that?
6. Houston Texans (2) - Texans fall from the #2 spot after loss to Dallas, but still are a dangerous team. Defense needs to improve to stay up amongst the NFL elite.
7. New York Jets(8) - Win in Miami puts the Jets atop the AFC East early.
8. Atlanta Falcons (12) - Beating the Super Bowl Champs in New Orleans brings the Falcons into the top ten. Look for them to continue to climb.
9. Chicago Bears (11) - Undefeated, having just beat the division rival Packers. But, are they really this good?
10. New England Patriots (9) - 38-30 win over the Bills doesn't really scream a good defense, does it?
11. Miami Dolphins (7) - Chad Henne really has established himself as an up-and-comer in this league.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (10) - Win and slide down two positions? How? Oh, because that win was against the Carolina Panthers. Do the Bengals have a problem at quarterback?
13. Kansas City Chiefs (20) - Seven position jump this week. But, as one of only 3 undefeated teams in the league, shouldn't they rate higher?
14. Tennessee Titans (17) - Apparently, it really is Vince Young's team.
15. Philadelphia Eagles(15) - Dominated the Jaguars. The problem? It was the Jaguars. Let's see how the Eagles play aginst Donovan McNabb, then we will really know what Michael Vick has.
16. Dallas Cowboys (16) - $1.3 billion stadium. Mediocre team. If the Rangers keep winning, maybe nobody will notice that the Cowboys aren't.
17. Minnesota Vikings (19) - The bye week couldn't come at a better time. Maybe now Brett Favre will have a chance to gel with his receivers.
18. San Diego Chargers(14) - After a loss to the Seahawks, this team may be closer to the team that lost to the Chiefs than the team that beat the Jaguars.
19. Denver Broncos (23) - The Broncos should probably be lower, but who should be above them? I'm guessing that, now that the Broncos are inside the 20, they will continue to not move at all.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (21) - 2&0 start was great. But, loss to Pittsburgh last week and Cincinnati and New Orleans following the bye will quickly bring the Buccaneers back to Earth.
21. Seattle Seahawks(31) - Pete Carroll has the Seahawks playing solid football.
22. Washington Redskins(13) - Loss to St. Louis stings. At least Donovan McNabb gets to visit Philadelphia for the first time in his career. Maybe he'll go see the Liberty Bell.
23. Arizona Cardinals (25) - Make or break couple of weeks coming for the Cardinals - @San Diego, then vs. New Orleans before the bye.
24. San Francisco 49ers (22) - Okay, maybe they won't be good?
25. New York Giants (18) - I don't know what the issue is in New York, but the Giants are not a good team. Something needs to change here in a hurry.
26. Oakland Raiders (26) - Wide left. That just about describes the Raiders season....
27. Detroit Lions (27) - I'm still seeing the Lions improve this year. With games against St. Louis, New York Giants, Washington, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay still on the schedule, the Lions should be able to rack up a few wins.
28. Cleveland Browns (29) -0&3 by a combined 12 points. This team can stay close, but can't seem to win.
29. St. Louis Rams (30) - A win in Week 3 is 5 weeks quicker than it took the Rams to win last year.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (24) - Pathetic game against the Eagles.
31. Carolina Panthers (28) - Well, the Jimmy Clausen era started pretty badly.
32. Buffalo Bills (32) - Trent Edwards defines how bad the Bills are. From starter to benched to looking for a job within a week...and all that by Week 4 of the season.
Targets of Opportunity
- Rest in Peace George Blanda. Blanda, who passed away on Monday, played longer in the NFL than anyone in pro football history, and, when he retired, had scored more points than any player in NFL history.
- The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly posted a series of quotes from Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby on Twitter, including, "He played with great angles and leverage. That's what this game is all about, angles and leverage," speaking about fellow linebacker Cameron Wake. Shifting to the upcoming Monday Night Football game, Dansby stated, "We're looking forward to playing on that stage. Monday night is a whole other atmosphere. That's how we have to approach the game. We're on deck. It's out time and we have to step up and make some plays, have some success on Monday night."
- Dansby also admitted that the defense's issues on Sunday Night against the Jets came down to "poor technique." "We were giving up big runs, pass situations on third and longs that were keeping drives alive. That gave them confidence," he concluded.
- SURVIVOR SPOILER ALERT: Jimmy Johnson was voted off of Survivor last night. He was the third player voted off the (Revis?) island. It looked like the women wanted him around, but the men feared him. While everyone knew he was the easy and obvious leader of his tribe, it looked like that was his downfall as well.
- The Dolphins' new practice squad member, Brooks Foster, played collegiately at North Carolina. He is a 6'1", 205 lbs wide out, and, is a gifted athlete. While redshirting his freshman year at UNC, he walked on to the basketball team, winning the National Championship with them in 2005. He ran a 4.38 40, along with a 38.5" vertical. He also broke the NFL Combine wide receiver record in the benchpress, with 27 reps. He was drafted in 2009 by the Rams, but was placed on IR after injuring his ankle. The Jets signed him to their practice squad this year, before releasing him eariler this month.