For different reasons, a whole lot of people are very happy with tonight’s Monday night NFL matchup.
ABC, for example, has to thank its good fortune that the Jets and the Miami Dolphins, unknown quantities under new head coaches succeeding legends back when the NFL schedule was unveiled in April, have found their way to 5-1 records and will do battle for sole possession of the AFC East.
Baseball fans not too snobbish to acknowledge that other sports exist during the World Series fortnight are overjoyed to have a top-shelf football game to tide them over until their purchase of subway tokens.
And the Jets and ‘Fins are both pleased to have a national stage on which to show that their defenses are strong enough to travel all the way into the postseason.
In fact, both teams have a chip on their collective shoulder pads. For the Jets, it’s the defensive players who feel ignored due to the hype for the Buccaneers’ defense before their fourth-game comeback and now the Dolphins, who lead the NFL in allowing just 51 points and three touchdowns.
“We’re just as aggressive as they are,” said strong safety Victor Green. “They have a lot of speed and I think we’ve got speed as well. Talent-wise and scheme-wise, I think we’re pretty special.”
“Every time you overlook us,” said linebacker Mo Lewis, “we kind of take it personally.”
But the Dolphins are of a similar mind…