Jets-Dolphins are catty on, off the field

The trash-talking between the Jets and Dolphins goes back to Jets coach Rex Ryan expressing confidence in his team's OTAs, which prompted Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder(notes) to call Ryan "the OTA Super Bowl winner." Ryan playfully responded that he'd "walked over tougher guys going to a fight" than Crowder, and that if he were younger, he'd probably handle Crowder himself. Crowder called Ryan a "big old joker", and Ryan speculated that he might get "tatted up" for the hypothetical confrontation.

When the two teams met in Week 5, the Fins ran wild with the Wildcat, gaining 107 yards on 17 plays with their tricked-up single wings. Miami won, 31-27, but the Jets were not impressed with the formations that made them look unaware and unprepared. Ryan called the Wildcat a college offense, and linebacker Calvin Pace said that "I can't respect that stuff, all that Wildcat, because we're in the NFL, man," Predictably, Crowder was ready to fire back. "I love nonsense. They want to say gimmick this, gimmick that. The wildcat is an offensive formation we've been running for two years. They have thousands of plays on film about it. Go stop it and shut up all the junk talking. They ain't going to give us no credit? We'll see them in three weeks."

The rematch is here, and both teams need the game. New York's loss to the Dolphins was the second game in a three-game losing streak which ended with last Sunday's 38-0 whacking of the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins are 2-4 and just trying to stay relevant in the AFC East. But can the Jets stop the Wildcat this time? The Saints shut it down in Miami's last game by using cornerback blitzes and rolling coverage to the expected point of attack, but the reason the Wildcat keeps going strong is that the Dolphins are very good at adjusting what they do with it. If teams expect the Ricky Williams(notes) sweep, they'll run power or counter plays with Ronnie Brown(notes). And if the secondary cheats up, expect Brown to look for passing options downfield. The power stuff may have new life with the mammoth nose tackle Kris Jenkins(notes) out of the picture.

This is the last Fins-Jets matchup at Giants Stadium (barring a playoff game), and it should be a doozy. Let's hope NFL Films sends enough microphones for everyone!

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