These are not the same Dolphins the Jets easily handled eight weeks ago.
Thanks, in large part, to interim coach Dan Campbell.
"Everything about him is contagious," Miami receiver Jarvis Landry said. "Everything about him -- his intensity, the life that he brings to this building, just the vibe, all the things that he does that go unseen or in some cases unheard. We like it better that way. We like it better when everything kind of stays in-house. He's a player's coach, to say the least."
The Jets fried the Fish, 27-14, underneath a blazing London sun on Oct. 4. The Jets took a 20-7 halftime lead, outgained Miami 425-226 and held the Dolphins to 0-for-12 on third downs and 0-for-4 on fourth downs.
That dominant performance not only improved the Jets' record to 3-1 but prompted the Dolphins' front office to fire coach Joe Philbin the following day. It some respects, that Dolphins loss helped pave the way for Campbell's culture change in Miami. And now both teams are fighting for survival in a stacked AFC playoff race.
The Dolphins still are streaky, but their record is 4-6. Unfortunately for Todd Bowles, the Jets (5-5) aren't playing nearly as well as they were in London. They've lost four of the past five games.
If the Jets expect to get back on track, they'll have to get past this energized Miami team. But Bowles pointed out that their Week 4 matchup has little bearing on Sunday's outcome. "I don't think it influences much," he said. "Teams are at different places at different points in the season. They're playing a lot better football. We haven't played great of late, so we're just trying to get ourselves back on our own two feet and try to come out with a win."
Jets players have taken notice of the change in the Dolphins "Yes, absolutely . Fiery," said Brandon Marshall, who played for the Dolphins from 2010-11.
" . . . One guy, one coach isn't going to change things, but he can spark it. And it's on the guys to keep that fire lit, and they're doing that . . . those guys are playing and it seems like they're having fun again and it's going to be a tough game again."
Things used to be fun for the Jets when their running game was nearly flawless, Marshall was making consistent plays and the defense was collecting takeaways. But now they've lost their way, and the Jets are banking on a return to basics being the catalyst for their own turnaround.
"I think it's coming along," Bowles said of putting his imprint on the team. "I don't think it's there where you want it to be yet . . . I think the execution has got to be there and we have to get in sync a little bit more. From an imprint standpoint, the toughness and coming out ready to play every game, I think they've been doing that.''
Meanwhile, the Dolphins believe Campbell already has put his stamp on their team.
"The confidence level [is different]," Landry said. " . . . He raised the competition level a lot so that when we go out and compete on Sundays, we have the confidence to know that this game is ours."