All South Florida fans want right now is something to believe in. This weekend they just might find it at Hard Rock Stadium around 4 p.m. The Dolphins take on the New York Jets this Sunday in a game that is as important for the Wild Card race as it is for the overall sanity of South Florida sports fans.
Sport has fallen on hard times in the 954 and 305 — and if we are being honest, not much help seems to be on the way. The Marlins season ended in about as terrible a fashion as anyone could imagine with the death of Jose Fernandez. The Heat are a shell of what they used to be and are obviously in a rebuilding year that has little in the way of expectations behind it. The Panthers are off to a disappointing start and are already dealing with some injuries. The Miami Hurricanes are a dumpster fire that coach Mark Richt is desperately trying to put out.
National championships are not in the near future.
The Dolphins have a prime opportunity to win a third-straight game on Sunday, one that would move them back to .500 after starting the season 1-4. They could extend talk of a playoff appearance into at least Thanksgiving territory, something that seemed impossible just a few weeks ago.
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It's a lot to put on the Dolphins' shoulders, but a win against the Jets on Sunday might be the rivalry's most important win since Chad Pennington beat the Jets to win the AFC East back in 2008.
With a loss, the Dolphins' chances of making the playoffs resort to run-the-table-and-pray. With a win, the Dolphins — and fans — get to speculate for a few more weeks about sliding into that last Wild Card spot or even, if the Patriots slip up, somehow winning the AFC East.
It's all very unlikely, but a win this weekend against the Jets would at the very least provide some hope. South Florida fans are short on hope lately, and this is the Dolphins' chance to win back some hearts of those who long ago gave up on them.