Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins will look to avoid a fourth consecutive losing season on Sunday against the AFC East’s best team, the New England Patriots.
The Week 17 matchup has been moved to a 4:25 p.m. start time on Sunday, instead of the originally scheduled 1 p.m. The game can be seen exclusively on CBS4.
The final weekend of the regular season will carry extra weight this year, unlike in years past. While the Dolphins are out of the playoffs, they could make things interesting for the Patriots and other teams if they can pull off the upset.
New England can clinch a first-round playoff bye with a victory over the Dolphins and either the Denver Broncos or Houston Texans losing. The Patriots can clinch home field advantage through the playoffs with a victory over the Dolphins and losses by both Denver and Houston.
But, if Miami can pull off the upset on Sunday in Foxboro, the AFC playoff picture gets a little jumbled.
The Denver Broncos would clinch a first-round bye with a Dolphins victory or tie over the Patriots and a Broncos win or tie on Sunday. Denver could also clinch home field advantage with a victory and a loss or Tie by the Texans or a tie for the Broncos and a Houston loss.
So in a way, even though Peyton Manning chose Denver; he will likely be a big Dolphins fan Sunday when they play the Patriots.
Houston can clinch a first-round bye with a victory, a Patriots loss or tie or a Denver loss. Houston can get home field advantage in the playoffs with a win or tie, a Denver loss or tie; or a New England loss or tie and Denver loss.
Outside of the three aforementioned teams, the playoffs are set with the additions of the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, and Cincinnati Bengals.