If a 41-0 loss to Jacksonville from last week doesn't motivate the Jets, what will? If they can't rebound against the woeful Dolphins (1-4), which opponent could cure their woes? These are questions the Jets don't want to have to answered after they face the Dolphis at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday. A win would even the Jets' record at 3-3.
The game comes at a critical time for the Jets. They scored themselves some morale points when they came close against the Colts two weeks ago, but most of that capital expired in their dreadful performance last week. The Dolphins' flop has given the Jets a shot at a second-place finish in the AFC East and with it, a shot at a wild-card berth in the playoffs. To have a realistic shot, the Jets need to take care of business this week and the subsequent two weeks leading into their bye week.
The Dolphins didn't do the Jets a favor by replacing Daunte Culpepper with Joey Harrington at quarterback. With the Jets' pass rush and Culpepper's general unawareness, that might cost them four sacks in this game. That said, Harrington cannot match the Oregon-supplied hype that has followed him throughout his career. If the Jets can't beat the Dolphins, will this turn into a long season? The answer is liklely, "yes", but the Jets hope they won't have to cross that bridge.