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2011 Perspective I - The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets Rivalry

It's been a very long time since I broke out a "Perspective" story.  These used to be my bread and butter on the site, but over time, they have just sort of slipped of the RADAR.  Well, I think it's time to bring it back, at least for one week.  Why, you may ask?  Because, it's Miami Dolphins at New York Jets day.

That's right.  It's time for the Dolphins to play that team we all hate.  Most of us hate the Jets more than any other team in the NFL - or in sports, period.  I think even OFF4L hates the Jets more than he hates the University of Michigan or the Toronto Maple Leafs.  I'm sure Matty I hates the Jets more than he hates the Chicago Cubs.  All of you University of Miami fans....who do you hate more, the Jets or the Seminoles.  That's right, deep in your heart, it's the Jets.

I HATE the Jets. 

And, tonight, the Dolphins play that team.  Yet, around here, I'm not even sure we remember there's a game tonight.

Where's the hatred?  Where's the passion?  Where's anything?

We have all become so fixated on the future, and the possibility of Andrew Luck, and the desire to fire head coach Tony Sparano, that we haven't looked at the present.  We are playing the New York Jets.

You know, the team that Miami played in the 1982 AFC Championship - the "Mud Bowl" - sending the Dolphins to Super Bowl XVIII.  The team that alleges then Dolphins head coach Don Shula ordered the tarp left off of the Orange Bowl field, in order to ensure the muddy conditions, and, therefore, negate the Jets speed.

What about in 1985, when Mark Duper set the Dolphins single game receiving record with 217 yards, including the final touchdown, a 50-yard strike from Dan Marino with less than a minute to play, to pull off a 21-17 win.

Or, the September 21, 1986 shoot out between Marino and Jets' quarterback Ken O'Brien.  Marino threw for 448 yards and six touchdowns, while O'Brien went for 479 yards and 4 TDs.  O'Brien's last two touchdowns coming as time expired to force overtime, and then the game winner in the extra period.  That game was the NFL record holder for most passing yards in a single game (884 net yards, combined) until the Patriots and Dolphins broke it earlier this year.  It's also the highest scoring game (96 total points) between the Dolphins and the Jets.

On October 23, 1988, Dan Marino threw for the most yards in a single game in his career.  The opponent?  The New York Jets of course.  Marino had 521 yards passing and four touchdowns, yet the Dolphins still lost the game 44-30 - largely due to Marino's 4 interceptions.

A month later, the Dolphins opened slowly, but found the gas in the 3rd quarter, as Marin hit Mark Clayton on two scores, and Ferrell Edmunds on a third.  The Dolphins were up 34-24 going in to the fourth quarter, when starting Jets QB Pat Ryan was benched, and Ken O'Brien was inserted.  O'Brien led the Jets back for a 38-34 victory.

In 1991, the Dolphins met the Jets for the final wildcard spot, with the winner moving on, the loser heading home.  With just 44 second on the clock, the Dolphins took the lead 20-17.  But, the Jets drove down the field, kicked the tying field goal, then the game winning field goal in overtime, to send the Dolphins home for the offseason.

There's the epic November 27, 1994 game.  The Dolphins were leading the AFC East, but the Jets could take first place, late in the season, with a win.  The Jets jumped out to a 24-6 lead, heading in to the 4th quarter.  But, Dan Marino suddenly found the magic, and led two quick touchdown drives, bringing the Dolphins back to 24-21.  With 30 second remaining, and the clock ticking, the Dolphins rushed to the line of scrimmage, having moved the ball down to the Jets five yard line, and prepared to spike the ball, sto pthe clock, and kick the game tying field goal.  Marino took the snap, faked the spike, and rifled a ball to wide receiver Mark Ingram for the touchdown.  The play, forever known as the "Fake Spike" propelled the Dolphins to the division championship, and the Jets began a downward spiral, last two more seasons (from that game through the end of the 1996 season, the Jets would have a 4-33 record).

In 1998, the Jets were finally out of their funk, having Bill Parcells lead the turn around in the Meadowlands.  With the division lead on the line, the Dolphins met the Jets on December 13, 1998.  The Jets jumped out to a 14-10 lead, then returned a Marino fumble for a touchdown.  Marino was able to cut the lead back down to 21-16, but the Jets would hold on to win, then do the same the next week and win their first post merger division championship.

The final match up between the Dan Marino led Dolphins and the Jets came on December 27, 1999.  Marino would find his form, throwing for 322 yards, the last of his career record 63 300+ yard games.  However, the Jets, behind Ray Lucas, would win the game.  The Dolphins would still make the playoffs at 9-7, where they beat the Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round, before losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars 62-7, in perhaps the funniest, most blooper filled game every (I mean, really - the punter missed the ball on a kick...).

October 23, 2000 held the Monday Night Miracle.  The Dolphins dominated the Jets, leading 30-7 at the end of the third quarter.  The Dolphins were celebrating on the sidelines.  The game was over.  Quarterback Jay Fielder yelled to teammate Jason Taylor, "They ain't coming back on us!" Taylor yelled back, "Hell no! You kidding? C'mon now!"  But come back they did.  The Jets rallied, scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter, with Vinny Testaverde firing three touchdowns.  The Dolphins, waking up from their shell-shock, put up a touchdown, taking the lead again at 37-30.  With just 42 seconds left in the game, Testaverde once again drove the Jets down the field, firing a fourth touchdown of the quarter, this time to tackle-eligible Jumbo Elliot.  After being held to just 5 first downs in the first three quarters, the Jets converted 20 in the fourth.  The Jets would win on a field goal in overtime, after Fiedler was intercepted.  The game would be picked by fans two years later as the greatest Monday Night Football game ever, and set the record for largest fourth quarter comeback in league history.

Or, what about the 2008 matchup, with Brett Favre signing with the Jets, and Chad Pennington moving from New York to the Dolphins?  The final game of the season that year saw the Dolphins in New York, with the AFC East on the line.  Once again, winner would move on, loser would go home.  After a year of hearing how Brett Favre was the savior in New York, the Dolphins took the Jets' cast off quarterback, and Pennington led the Dolphins to the 24-17 win, and the Dolphins first division title since 2000.

The 2009 series saw Miami sweep the Jets for the first time since 2003.  The highlight, of course, was the Dolphins' Ted Ginn Jr. returning two kicks for touchdowns. 

In January 2010, Jets' head coach Rex Ryan was attending a mixed martial arts event in Florida, when some fans began heckling him.  The coach then flashed a "obscene gesture" to the fans - he was fined $50,000 by the Jets for his actions.

In April of 2010, Jason Taylor became Jason Traitor, when he signed with the rival Jets.  He has since returned to the Dolphins, and will make his return to the Meadowlands tonight.

Then, there's the December 2010, Sal Alosi game.  The Jets' Strength and Conditioning Coach, Alosi was a member of a "wall" along the sideline during a Dolphins punt - a move he organized.  As gunner Nolan Carroll rand down the field, he was forced out of bounds, just before the wall.  Alosi then stuck out his knee and tripped Carroll.

That was the last time these two hated rivals faced off.  Here we are, just hours before the game, and we, as Dolphins fans, don't seem to notice.  Hopefully, some of this gets the blood flowing - it's DOLPHINS VS. JETS TONIGHT!!!!!!