EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Jason Taylor believes the Jets tape from last week should be thrown out the window.

Can the same be said of the Dolphins?

Both teams pulled off stunners on the opening weekend: the Dolphins unexpectedly beat the Broncos, while the Jets lost in embarrassing fashion to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“They are coming off a big win,” Jets receiver Laveranues Coles said. “They beat a playoff team and nobody expected them to do what they did. We expect to get the best from Miami. We’re pretty sure they are going to come in confident. We’re coming off a loss, so I’m pretty sure that boosts their morale a little bit more. So we’re going to have to dig in and play a good game.”

It certainly was a role reversal last weekend. The Dolphins, coming off a 4-12 season, were not expected to do much. But they played with renewed energy under new coach Nick Saban. Even journeyman quarterback Gus Frerotte had a good game after a terrible preseason in which he barely beat out A.J. Feeley and Sage Rosenfels. The Jets came into their game against Kansas City making bold predictions about making a run at the Super Bowl. They were quickly silenced in an error-filled game in which the only thing that looked somewhat decent was the punting.

Taylor was surprised when he saw the game tape.

“That’s not the team that they are,” Taylor said. “We are rivals. We do have a bad history against each other, but that’s a team that I have always respected and they play well. Herm knows what he is doing up there. What they did Sunday was an aberration. It won’t happen again.”

Jets quarterback Chad Pennington chuckled when he was told what Taylor said.

“That’s kind of a compliment, but I know what they’re thinking,” Pennington said.

Translation: The Jets are expecting more pressure after the success Kansas City had forcing Pennington into six fumbles (two lost) and an interception.

Taylor seems rejuvenated in his new role, playing end and linebacker depending on the scheme. He returned a fumble 85 yards for a touchdown against the Broncos.

Edwards said Taylor is “humming,” along with the rest of the defense. He believes the Dolphins are playing with much more confidence because they had such a tough season in 2004.

“They were a team that in the past has been very, very good,” Edwards said. “They didn’t have a great year last year. That’s what happens. You get pros that have been on good teams that have been playoff teams, that next season they got a different attitude. Right now they’re playing that way.”

Of course, one never knows what will happen when the Dolphins and Jets play each other. Last year, the Jets won both games, including a laugher on Monday night in November, 41-14.

Because the Dolphins have so many new faces, Taylor might address the newcomers to tell them about the rivalry.

“There is a lot of bad blood and a lot of will to win on both sides, for both teams in this game,” Taylor said. “It’s a big one for us. It was that way before I got here at the Dolphins and it will be that way when I leave.”

It’s a big one for the Jets, too. Of course, there is no need to panic yet. Three of the past four Super Bowl champions began their seasons 1-1 or 0-2, and New England dropped its openers in 2001 and 2003 before recovering to win the championship each season.

Despite the big-game, big-rivalry atmosphere, Miami defensive end David Bowens wants to treat this contest no differently than the rest of the games on the schedule.

“We’re not going to say we’re going to get up for this game because it’s New York and we’re going to put extra emphasis on it,” Bowens said. “We’ll hate the Jets like we hated Denver, like we’ll hate Buffalo, Kansas City, New Orleans – anybody that we play. We’re going to have the mentality that we’re going to outwork them.”

AP-ES-09-15-05 1452EDT


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