FOXBORO -- The Patriots have something to play for today. If they beat the Dolphins, they clinch home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. That's a big deal for a team that dosen't lose at home very often.
The Dolphins have something to play for today also. They're playing for jobs. They're playing for pride. They're playing for a win.
I cannot tell you which, if either, really matters more. I assume as professionals, a certain amount of pride will kick in once the game begins.
It'll be interesting to see what Charles Clay does today, as he's the team's only legitimate receiving tight end option for Miami. I believe the Dolphins will be using multiple receiver sets most of the day. That's the best way to attack a New England's secondary that is low on numbers due to injuries. It also makes more sense to use Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Brandon Marshall than Will Yeatman or Jeron Mastrud.
It'll be interesting to see how the Dolphins deal with New England tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who arguably are the best pair of tight ends in the NFL.
And then there's this: It'll be interesting to see how you react to today's game. You know the stakes. You know what a win means, both positve and negative, assuming you've been keeping up with the college quarterback situation. You also know that a loss has certain meaning, both positive and negative, relative to players who want to stay, relative to draft draft position, etc ...
The inactives today are Ray Feinga, Steve Slaton, Ryan Baker, Ryan Cook, Anthony Fasano, Will Barker and Pat Devlin.
There will be a live blog today. It begins in the comments section at kickoff. Meet me there.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukka!