It was just one week ago that the South Florida community was excited over the prospect that the Miami Dolphins, winner of seven straight games at that point, could actually make the playoffs if things played out the right way.
After giving up 34 points while losing to the Titans and having everything bad play out around the NFL, the Dolphins now know they will be sitting at home for the fifth straight postseason and the questions have begun.
Is Tua Tagovailoa really the answer at quarterback? What changes to the coaching staff does Brian Flores need to make to avoid the 2022 season being his last in Miami? What free agents will be resigned and who will the Dolphins spend their cap money on this offseason to get better?
At the same time, the Fins also know they have a chance to do something that hasn’t happened in decades this week with a win. As always, we break it all down with NBC 6’s not-so-scientific system.
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Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (Sunday)
While the game is meaningless for the Fins other than the chance at back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2002-03, Miami can play spoiler to a Patriots team that needs a win and some help to win the AFC East and avoid going on the road for the playoff opener.
The question for Miami is this: who do you hate more, New England or Buffalo?
Of note is the fact Miami can also do something that hasn’t taken place since the 2000 season: get a sweep over the Pats after the Dolphins went on the road in the season opener and left with a one-point win. Okay, so maybe this game isn’t meaningless after all for Miami.
Other State Games
In an interesting note, the Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of other teams rooting for them in their season finale against the Indianapolis Colts to help with playoff potential. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who already have a playoff spot locked up, close out their regular season at home against the Carolina Panthers.