The NFL has announced that the Dolphins-Jets game that was originally scheduled to take place at 1:00PM that had been moved to 8:15PM was once again being moved, this time to 4:15PM. It was moved to the prime time slot (where the country would be able to see it as the sole game available) because it looked to be a battle of traditional rivals fighting for one playoff berth and the division title. After the outcome of yesterday's games, it was bumped to 4:15PM, where it is still technically in a "better" time spot (competing with only one other game instead of five), but doesn't have the wide audience that the prime time game would have had.
The justification, I guess, is that there's less on the line. With the Jets tanking against the Seahawks yesterday, the Jets still need help to make the playoffs (a Patriots loss - good luck with that). The Denver-San Diego game is a "two teams enter, one team leaves" kind of battle where the winner wins the division and the loser goes home, therefore making it more "dramatic".
However, how can you not go with the Dolphins-Jets game? How many angles do you have going here?
- Chad Pennington vs. the team that scapegoated him and dumped him for a 39-year-old who was being pushed out the door by his former team
- The Dolphins (last year: 1-15) taking on the Jets (last year: 4-12) for the #3 seed in the AFC playoffs
- The Dolphins, a warm weather team that traditionally fails as the weather gets colder, going into New Jersey where the temperature would be around freezing at kickoff (at least at 8:15PM)
- The Dolphins (winners of 8 of their last 9, including 4 in a row) facing a reeling Jets team whom they have lost to 17 times in their last 21 meetings (including earlier this season in Miami)
- The Dolphins needing to win in late December on the road against the Jets. Previous Dolphins victories over the Jets on the road in December: 1996 (Jets finished 1-15), 1983, 1982. That is all.
And the history? Ask any Jet or Dolphin fan about:
- A.J. Duhe and the 1982 AFC Championship game (the game that taught me to hate Jet fans)
- Marty Lyons ending Dwight Stephenson's career with an illegal chop block
- Raul Allegre costing the Dolphins the AFC East (and the playoffs) in the final game of the 1991 season
- Marino's fake spike in 1994 (easily my favorite Dolphins memory, and I still will say that I saw it coming)
- The Monday Night Miracle (easily my least favorite Dolphins memory, which I experienced live, and will now go throw up)
I'm sure there are more, but I'm a little too ill remembering that game. The Broncos and Chargers though? Would either team call their opponent their biggest rival? The Broncos are 8-7 going into the game (having lost two straight) and face a 7-8 Chargers team that the word "disappointment" would be considered an understatement. If the Chargers win (I assume they'd be favored) the NFL is putting an 8-8 team on a pedistal while potentially a 11-5 team could be left out (the Patriots, assuming both New England and the Dolphins win.)
History? Well, last time these two played, the Broncos won 39-38 on a blown call on the Broncos final touchdown drive which would have given the ball to the Chargers and ended the game. Yeah, that's something I'd want to remind the entire NFL audience about if I were the league.