After drafting Jake Long with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, nobody anywhere thought that the Dolphins did anything to change their team to any great degree.
Sure, the offensive line was going to be helped with maybe the safest pick of the draft in Long, but, come on, the team needed so much more, right?
They were almost hopeless to do anything this season, correct?
This had more critics picking on the Dolphins.
Many thought that the team got a quarterback with no arm, and a guy who was on the decline in his career.
Others thought that the team dropped the ball by not getting a better overall quarterback, one who could strike a lot of fear into the opposing defense.
15 games into the season though, the Dolphins are one win away from completing one of the best single season turnarounds in the history of the NFL.
At 10-5, all the Dolphins need to do is beat the 9-6 New York Jets, and they are the AFC East division champions.
By the way, did anybody mention that Chad Pennington could lead his new team to victory in front of his old home crowd?
Will this happen though against the Jets?
Let us look at the Jets now to answer this question.
Yes, the team is in a horrible slump right now.
True, the team looks as if they are done.
Nothing is going right at all, and the Jets have blown every chance to get into the playoffs at this point.
This will not change on the last week of the regular season, will it?
It will, even though this may sound crazy.
The Jets have nothing to lose in this game.
If they play tepid football, they will probably yield the same results, and more than likely, they will end up going home at 9-7, and out of the playoffs.
This will not happen though.
Brett Favre, much the topic of heated debate this past week, as the questions of "Was he worth it," and "Will he come back next year," have already started, will play like a man who may be playing his last career game.
Knowing full well that his great career may be coming to an end, he is going to leave everything out on the field.
Expect a lot of long throws in front of the home crowd, and, even more shockingly, expect completions in boat loads.
Favre will be running around as if he is 29 all over again in this game. He will make his receivers all look Hall of Fame bound, and he will do his part in this contest.
In addition, Thomas Jones will be a force in this game as well.
One of the few constant bright spots for the Jets this season, he has had the best season of his solid career up to this point, and he is going to try and take the team on his back for a possible playoff push on Sunday.
He is going to try and will the Jets to a victory as well, and when added to the Favre factor, the offense will be almost unstoppable come Sunday.
In a cold game in Kansas City this past week, the Dolphins let the Chiefs, hardly an offensive powerhouse, put up 31 points in a game that they almost lost.
Yes, rookie quarterback Tyler Thigpen for the Chiefs is looking like a keeper, but should any contender, even while on the road, give up 31 points to a 2-13 team?
Just imagine what a 9-6 team, and a team that has scored 56 and 48 points in games this season, could do.
The results could very well shock many.
In addition, looking at the defense of the Jets, they were not the issue last week in Seattle.
Yes, they did not get a lot of pressure on quarterback Seneca Wallace, and the rushing attack was solid behind a patchwork offensive line, but they shut the Seahawks down when they had to.
Allowing only 13 points, they did what they had to in the game to set the Jets up for a win.
The offense did not show up as is well understood at this point though, and a loss was the result.
Look for the entire team to come out in front of their home crowd pumped up on Sunday though.
Look for the Dolphins to be a little road weary.
Look for the Dolphins to lose a close game to the Jets, 31-27.
Then, the playoffs, and if the Jets make it, can be the next thing that is figured out.
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