Preparing For An Unfamiliar Rival

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Ask any Redskins fan over the age of 50 what the Redskins-Dolphins rivalry means, and they’ll tell you about the glorious Super Bowl matchups in 1972 and ’82.

Ask most current players, and they probably won’t know what you’re talking about.

It’s been a long five years since the last time the Redskins played the Dolphins, in Week 1 of the 2007 regular season.  Here’s some perspective on what was happening in 2007:

  • Everyone was learning the Soulja’ Boy “Crank Dat” dance (except for me).
  • David Beckham was a relevant soccer star, just coming to the United States.
  • was a thriving social networking site.
  • Barry Bonds was bashing his way into an asterisk.
  • Gas prices rocketed up to an unfathomable $3 per gallon.

It was a different time.

And this Sunday will feature different teams.

When the Redskins take the field on Sunday, only three anticipated starters will be the same from that 2007 squad: linebackers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh, and safety LaRon Landry.  Only nine players remain with the organization that were on that roster, including Chris Cooley and Santana Moss (not including receivers coach Keenan McCardell).

When the Dolphins run out of the tunnel on Sunday, there will zero starters from the 2007 squad, and only seven players still on the roster.  One of those players, Jason Taylor, played for two other teams since 2007, including the Redskins in 2008.

This is a matchup that’s heavy on history (two Super Bowl appearances in 1972 and 1982), but light on rivalry.  Both teams are in need of a win, but it will really boil down to which team wants it more.

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