MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami/Sports Direct) – A long and frustrating season for the Miami Dolphins will come to an end on Sunday against a division rival.
With a first-round bye already secure, the New England Patriots look to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs when they conclude the regular season against the host Dolphins.
Coach Bill Belichick’s charges were unsuccessful in their bid to wrap up the top seed last week after a curious decision on an overtime coin toss backfired in their 26-20 setback to the New York Jets.
New England has been anything but perfect since its 10-0 start, losing three of five as its offense has struggled to find consistency in the wake of several injuries.
Despite missing wideouts Julian Edelman (foot) and Danny Amendola (knee), Brady leads the league in passing yards and needs 364 to reach 5,000 on the season.
The two-time NFL MVP fell just eight yards shy of that total on Oct. 29 during his four-touchdown performance in a 36-7 rout of Miami.
The AFC East cellar-dwelling Dolphins aren’t finishing the season with any semblance of strength, having dropped three in a row and seven of nine.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -10. O/U: 47
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (12-3): Tight end Rob Gronkowski has topped out at 113 receiving yards on three occasions this season, with his 47-yard touchdown reception highlighting the victory over Miami.
Running backs James White and Brandon Bolden continue to make impacts in the passing game with five catches apiece last week, but their contributions on the ground have been limited.
New England has struggled mightily with top rushers LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis sidelined for the rest of the season.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (5-10): Ryan Tannehill threw for 329 yards in an 18-12 setback to Indianapolis last week, but has failed to find the end zone in consecutive outings.
The 27-year-old was nursing a leg injury after the team’s latest loss, but interim head coach Dan Campbell told reporters that Tannehill wasn’t limited in his movements during practice.
Wideout Jarvis Landry had seven catches last week to set a franchise record with 104 on the season.
- New England needs to win or see AFC West champion Denver fall to San Diego in order to clinch the top seed in the conference.
- Miami Pro Bowl C Mike Pouncey (foot) has yet to practice this week and would be replaced by rookie Jamil Douglas if he can’t play on Sunday.
- Patriots DE Chandler Jones (team-leading 12.5 sacks) was limited in practice Thursday with a toe injury.
Be sure to check out our FinsOn4 Live Dolphins Blog where we will be posting season-long coverage, updates, photos, video, commentary and more throughout the entire 2015 season.
Watch Miami take on the New England Patriots this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Direct Inc. contributed to this report.)