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Smallest crowd of the season on tap for Jacksonville

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin came to the defense of South Florida Dolphins fans this week.

“Our fan support has really been excellent," he said. "It’s a loud atmosphere down at this stadium, and we’re looking forward to playing well in front of our home fans this Sunday."

Interesting. The Dolphins have struggled to fill Sun Life Stadium practically every game except the home opener and the Patriots game (when there were 20,000 Pats fans in the house).

Otherwise, the paid attendance has been anywhere from 52,000 to 59,000 and the actual attendance lower than that.

This week it'll be worse. This week, with the simply awful and uninteresting Jacksonville Jaguars coming to town, the Dolphins could have the smallest crowd of the year. Their paid should be the typical 50,000 or so.

But the team is aware the actual "crowd" could dip into the mid 40,000s.

The only way this game won't have the lowest attendance of the year is if the Dolphins lose Sunday and even more disenchanted fans stay home next week when Miami plays Buffalo.

"I haven’t really noticed to be honest with you," Philbin said. "I got a couple other things to be concerned about.

"I think our fans are very passionate. The ones that I have interaction with love the Dolphins. They’re loyal and supportive and it’s been a good atmosphere at the stadium."

Despite this being the lowest actual attendance of the year, the Dolphins are still expecting to broadcast the game live on local television. It would take an unexpected last minute change of philosophy to allow the blackout to stand.

The club has broadcast the previous six home games despite not having sellouts by meeting the NFL threshold for showing games.

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