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Roster of Jets stars vs. a tight Dolphins team

When the New York Jets get introduced before each game, it's as if the stars are coming out.

Alan Faneca? Pro Bowl.

Kris Jenkins? Pro Bowl.

Brett Favre? Desipte all logic ... Pro Bowl.

The Jets have an NFL-high seven Pro Bowl players this season. And that's not all. They have five other players who were designated Pro Bowl alternates.

That is the roster the Dolphins must defeat on Sunday to win the AFC East championship. And how do the Dolphins match up with that star-studded lineup?

Well, if you believe the names on the back of the jerseys are more important than the names on the front of the jerseys, the Dolphins can answer with only two Pro Bowl players of their own -- running back Ronnie Brown and linebacker Joey Porter. Miami also boasts two Pro Bowl alternates in Chad Pennington and Jake Long.

But that's not how the Dolphins really look at it this matchup. They see themselves matching against a roster of stars by coming with a constellation of no-names and hard workers that make up a hard-fighting, hard-working team.

So the Dolphins, in short, are hoping a good team trumps a roster of stars.

"They know if we work hard and we practice well and prepare well, we usually have a chance to play pretty well," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Monday. "So this team of no stars just goes out in a workmanlike fashion and prepares very well."

Now as the Biblical David versus Goliath story goes, this match isn't so one-sided on the surface. The Dolphins don't exactly look like a boy facing a nine-foot giant in the Jets. But seriously, on the surface, there should be no reason the more talented Jets should be looking up in the standings at the presumably less-talented Dolphins.

Below the surface there are reasons:

The Dolphins are coached better.

The Dolphins work harder.

The Dolphins come together better. Their fabric is knit closer, tighter. And so the Dolphins comprise a better team.

And isn't that, at the core, what football is? Isn't it a team sport?

[BLOG NOTE: I want to thank you for making Sunday the single-biggest day in the history of Dolphins In Depth. This blog had 26,300 views on Sunday, meaning 48 percent of all the traffic that clicked on Miami Herald blogs Sunday came here. Needless to say, the blog was the most popular at the paper, outpacing the next closest, which had 10,094 views. My most sincere thanks. And realizing this is a HUGE week for Miami fans as well as the team, I will do multiple updates every day throughout this week. So keep coming back.]


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You're welcome...

Tony "The Hitman" Sparano is right, this will be a much different team than the Cropdusters saw in the season opener.
The Phins have grown so much since that day.

I also am willing to bet that "The Hitman" and his coordinators have been saving up some new wrinkles on the back burner for this very match up!

Favre doesn't scramble like he once did, and he seems to be having some pain or soreness in his throwing arm, leaving his passes to come up short.
I think Pasqualoni will bring multiple blitz packages all day to keep Brett off balance .

On the opposite side of the ball I believe Henning will stay committed to the run in various formations and some new sets.

We need to win upfront on both sides of the ball to control this game and take the weather factor out.

Miami Wins 24-13

Mando, I always make it part of my day to check your blog since you generally have a measured, but enthusiastic view on the team and the players.

Hopefully you'll have a lot more to talk about after this Sunday's game!

Dolphins RULE

Mando, come on man what is the purpose of this thread.We have been the underdog all year and we still find ways to win.It don't matter how many pro-bowl players the Jets have if that was the case what was their excuse in the Seatle,49er and Denver games all teams in which we have beat.Yes we did not beat the Jets the first game blah blah blah but horrid play calling,penalties and Ginn not beeing as productive cost us that.Now Ginn is stepping up and Bess is doing fine as well.Penny will find a way to win.Our defense is going to be the key in this game and they better step up big.

Grats on the milestone Armando. Though i dont always agree with you, i always find your blogs informative (sorry english 3rd language, cant spell).

Back too topic- I love Miami's no name roster, it shows that ANY team on any given sunday can get in the ring with the best of them. This team truly has balls of steel. I cant remember the last time we had a dolphins team that physically beat up the opposition!


You have been covering the dolphins since I have been alive. Congratulations on the page views that is wonderful. I live in Southern California and read your blog for information regarding the team. CBS is terrible out here as they never play Miami games on TV. Thanks for the blog.

Armando, Thank you for all the work you put into this... We, the fans, the real ones, really appreciate that...And by the way, if you and your family ever come down to Montreal, Canada, e-mail me, me and my wife will be happy to show you guys this beautiful city... I've always considered myself the biggest dolphins fan in Canada, from the late 70's until now... As far as the subject of your blog is concerned, I think the team concept and hard work pays off more in football than any other sport, and the Dolphins are just simply better than the Jets when it comes to those types of things... If it would be about individuals, Dan Marino wouldn't have enough fingers for all his SB rings he would of gotten... Anyway, have fun in the Meadowlands next Sunday Armando, keep us posted, and go Fins...

i live in NJ jets land lets call it , i wear my aqua and orange win or 1-15 lose. lets just say "its payback time" sunday night the jets and there super hero (favre///) are going down and this ones gonna leave a bruise all offseason.
keep up the good work , were gonna read and cheer and were here to stay!



You deserve the credit you are getting because you do a good job covering the team and keeping us up to date. Thank You for your hard work.

Armando, this article would be good if the Jets roster was actually that talented but it's not. It's an overrated group. I don't really consider the Dolphins a team of no-names either.

Nice analysis, Mando. It reminds me when we had all those #1 picks draft on the roster under Shula and they all under-achieved because they didn't gel as team. It's nice to have a team of over-achievers for a change.

So many times we have heard about how a Dolphins team is "special" and can go a long way only fizzle out along the way (usually in December) but this rag tag bunch who no one expected to have a winning season if fighting for a playoff spot in the final week of the season against our most hated rivals, the Jets. How great is that?

Can we get Marino, Duper, AJ Duhe, Dwight Stephenson, Nat Moore, Coach Shula and a few others to stand on the phins sideline?

I love our no name team. It bring to thought of the no name defense of 1972 (even though i wasn't alive for that). Our players have earned ever ounce of respect they get, and they deserve even more from the nation. everyones picking the "wanna-be giants" to beat us this week, and when we hand it to those NY Jokes this team will once and for all put the doubters to rest!

Game forcast for 12/28 East Rutherford, NJ - 52 degrees. I'll take it! After KCity, this will seem like a sun bath to this team.

Congrats Mando.

This a team that understands that accolades come after they win. The coaching and business like atmosphere on this team is unbelievable. Truly professionally run. Nobody is giving the Dolphins a chance to win. The 4pm start is like an afterthought. I would have thought that this game was the biggest next week. We might knock the Pats out of first place. No first place Pats, the absolute darlings of the NFL. I was pretty sure of an evening game.
I don't think that it will matter. We will win or die trying. And that is all we can ask. 100% from a bunch of guys that no "expert" thought would win 4.

No matter what the moron and idiots say or do we are 10 and 5.

Nobody can take that away from the phins.

The morons who live in NY who are jet fans, if you know what i mean have been feeling the pain all year.



I once heard Bill Belichick talking about his 2001 Patriot team, one that was very similar to this Dolphins team. He said the approach in the offseason wasn't to just acquire talent, but to build a team.
I think that's what Parcells and Co. have done. They've built a team, starting with Chad Pennington.
Regardless of what happens Sunday, this team will always hold a special place in this Dolphin fan's heart.

Mando, good job on the blog.

Would love to get some of your readers over to http://www.PhinsCENTRAL.com , a brand new message board and Dolphins news site that started at the beginning of the season.

We're doing it real big this week.

Go Phins. One more win baby!

Finareinyourface, I thought i smelled fecal matter.

This is the most exciting week for the fins since 2001 (Possibly since 2000 considering the chad pennington returning to NY factor),,appreciate your effort, mando, and really enjoy the blog. It's week 17 with a chance to go to the playoffs so step yout game up, mando. Step your game up

Mando, the wets have limped into the last month and any "star power" WAS based on past reputation. These losers are already done for the season. They pose no threat to the Dolphins. Look for about 4 turnovers from the wets this Sunday. Dolphins win another and the Division.


Congratulations to YOU for making this such a good blog and attraction. Us fans don't necessarily always agree with what you say, but you do always make us think.

It is very, very much appreciated, and I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.


Always here Armando!

And Miami is all of the things you mentioned at the end, and it's what got them this far. Only one left, and they make more than history--they make the playoffs! I hope the Dolphins can do it.

Way to Go 'Mando.

As long as you leave Ted Ginn alone, I'm cool with you Mando. Keep on kicking A*S!

Congrats, you are the most important writer for the Miami Herald, now go get a contract extension!

Ted Ginns Stats: Ranked 48 In The Nfl In Receptions , Ranked 43 In The Nfl In Reception Yards.

as crazy as the chiefs game was, aren't we the hottest team in football right now? i would say the Colts and the Dolphins are playing the best team football right now. pittsburgh, tennessee, ravens, i think we can play with these teams now, we are soo battle tested, and these tight games we're pulling out are just making us tougher and more resiliant and a closer football team.

merry xmas dolphins fans.


You are welcome, this is a great site, I look at it everyday. I have been a Fins Fan all my life, and now I live in SF. This is the best place to keep track of what is going on with "my" team! Thanks! ML

Yeah But Sonny, only 1 game was against a team with a winning record, try not to put the fins in the same catorgory as pitt,indy, or tenn. i think we know what the outcome against those teams would be. :(

gotta have faith.
-george michael

My Phins Fan Brothers its been a long time coming what a xmas gift Chad and the miami dolphins will beat the jets a alot of people are sleeping on us and thats just how we like it.

vernon gholston stats 12 tkls 0 sacks 0ints 4 inactives

Mando, after we beat the not yets, think about the wonderful offseason storylines coming out of the BIG apple. Will MANgenuis be kept around or will they toss him away like Penny. Will the GREAT ONE play one more season or RETIRE, I hope that goes on the whole offseason as usual. What about the cap space, with all of those freeagent signings and the age of the team. It will make for some great drama. BEST WISHES PHINS, Go Dolphins!

Some of us fans no longer live in South Florida. We do however, know where to come for our updates on our beloved Fins. Thanks Armando!

To: mandos stock is rising ,

Stop raining on our parade you puss! Who cares about your Ginn stats. You pathetic loser.
Go phins, I hope Brett is knocked out for the season!!!!!!!!!!!

The Cuban Assassin

You do a good job on the blog Mando, that's what keeps us here.

As for this week, I am thrilled with the season! However, for me it would be incomplete if we don't beat the @#$%@$ JESTS (sucsucsuc)!!!

I have faith, but most of all I want to Chad to STICK IT TO THE JETS!!!

oh, one other thning....

Serve it up ICE COLD!!!

Great stuff mando, you make some good points.

I still find it amazing that Y Bell is not even a pro bowl alternate !!

I love the fact that we get no respect from the Media, that we only have 2 pro bowl players, plus 2 alt (CP and JL) it reminds me of the 73 Dolphins! 73 Dolphins had a "No name Defense, ex:Nick B #85, 08 Dolphins have "No name Defense, ex:Joey P#55, 73 Dolphins offense had intelligent led QB with average arm,great accuracy, and good mobility (BoB Greise), 08 Dolphins have intelligent QB with average arm, great accuracy, and good mobility,(Chad Pennington) both teams played "Team football" where the greater whole is better than the sum of the parts. 73 Dolphins won Super Bowl with no respect, and 08 Dolphins winning with no respect! So please, Dolphins Haters throughtout Nation, kept disrespecting us all the way to the SB 09! Who knows what will happen this year, from 1-15 to 10-5 playing for AFC Title and deep play-off run! Miami Dolphins uses negative comments to play with chip on their shoulders! Go Dolphins, and screw you Dolphins Haters!

Fellow Dolphin fans:
As a born-raised Miamian, season tix holder in the Grand Dame herself, THE Orange Bowl,(they should leveled it and rebuilt OUR stadium right on that holy ground-yes, I'm over 50), I have remained truly a dedicated Dolphins fan. I unfortun. live in NJ, & am stuck amongst the enemy-Jet Fans.(don't ask!)My love for this team has NEVER left me, and never will! I couldn't be prouder of what this compilation of players and coaches has done for the team and us, its fans. We have stuck thru the bad years and now its our turn to bring back the hard-nosed, powerhouse Dolphins we once had....we're on our way!


As with Sandy, I go back a lonnnnng way with Dolpins. I was 14 when I attended game #1 in '66 vs. Oakland.

This has been a year that is hard to believe. I kept waiting for the drewam to be over, the wheels to come off and reality to set in. But please Fins, give us at least one more. Please send the Jets home for the holiday.

More than any other present, a win against the ememy in NY would bring back the memories of the glory days again. Let's get the glory days back!

Thanks Bill and Tony.

marc is a homosexual cross dresser, with delusions of granduer, it really is sad.....

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