EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It wasn't hard to see that the Miami Dolphins took a little extra satisfaction winning this one at the Meadowlands.
"We won, thatís always the last word," said Miami's pre-eminent intimidator, Joey Porter. "Now, if you lose, you canít get the last word. You win the game, you donít have talk about it anymore. I donít got nothing bad to say about them Ė See that? We won. I ainít got nothing to say about them. That is the last word."
And the Dolphins all were pretty careful about delivering the first word for New England week.
Things will ramp up on Wednesday. But don't expect the kind of vitriol that accompanied Jets-Dolphins here. Because Dolphins-Patriots isn't the same as Jets-Dolphins.
"Not really," Ronnie Brown said, when asked if there are similarities. "I think Bill Belichickís a different guy. Heís gonna go in, heís gonna game-plan, and heís gonna do what he does. Heís not gonna waste a lot of time as far as coming out in the media and talking about guys. Itís gonna be one of those tell-tale games Ė 'Weíll see what happens in the game' Thatís usually how he handles the situation."
Brown said of the Jets, "I donít really like these guys much. Itís making it a lot easier to play this game." And he added with the Patriots, the Dolphins -- now 3-0 in division play -- will have a chance to measure themselves.
"I feel like we made some strides as a team and weíre in the thick of things, but to give them credit, everyone respects them as an opponent," Brown said. "You canít take them lightly, although the last few years they havenít been where they wanted to be. We won last year, but last year doesnít really mean anything. Theyíre a big opponent and the respect factor is there."
The Dolphins have shown their fight.
Through a devastating loss to the Saints, and a 2-4 start, Sunday's result showed what Miami has in their group. So how much have they proven?
"We bad mothe ... Nah, we alright," Porter said, pausing there for affect. "We didnít prove too much of anything. We won our third game of the season, but it was big because it was a division game. We proved we could still finish. They were knocking us a little bit because we were losing games, where we didnít finish. We did today."