The Miami Dolphins will host the New England Patriots in a critical matchup on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami is sitting at 6-6 and may need to win every remaining game to reach the playoffs. The Patriots meanwhile can clinch another division title with a win over the Dolphins in this game. New England beat Miami 38-7 earlier this season at Gillette Stadium, in a game the Dolphins entered with a 3-0 record.
The Patriots are beatable on the road, while the Dolphins have done a solid job of defending their home stadium. Getting an early lead could prove to be the deciding factor on Sunday and it is something New England has struggled with in road games. The Patriots are 3-3 on the road and have trailed by early large margins in multiple contests.
Miami will be without Xavien Howard in this game, just a week after a big game by the cornerback. Howard earned Player of the Week honors for his effort against Buffalo, but he will not be available to do the same against Tom Brady. The Dolphins have done a fine job of forcing turnovers this season, but that task is going to be difficult without arguably their best defensive player. Howard currently leads all NFL cornerbacks in interceptions this season with seven.
Danny Amendola is questionable for Sunday's game and was limited in practice this week. If the former Patriot can suit up for the game, he could have an impact on the final score. Amendola missed last week's game due to a knee injury and was mostly a non-factor in New England earlier this season. The veteran wide receiver would undoubtedly like to make up for that game and put up big numbers against his former club.
Ryan Tannehill is coming off a solid win over the Buffalo Bills and could build on that against the Patriots. Tannehill went 16-24 for 137 yards against the Bills and he found the end zone three times. New England's defense shut Tannehill down earlier this year, with two sacks and a pick on the way to a blowout win. For Miami to have any success in this game, the offensive line will need to give Tannehill a lot more time to work with than it did during that contest.
In addition to Amendola, the Dolphins listed Travis Swanson as questionable on their final injury report.
Sunday's game will begin at 1:00 p.m.