Ready or Not Miami Dolphins, Here Come the Playoffs!

  • Ready or Not Miami Dolphins, Here Come the Playoffs!

Ready or Not Miami Dolphins, Here Come the Playoffs!

- The New England defense gets a gold star. After falling behind 20-0, Miami came back on two touchdown passes to from Matt Moore to Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry.

Receivers (A) ... They were in playoff form, working downfield, moving the chains and sacrificing with solid blocking in the run game.

A pair of Patriots field goals made it 20-0 New England in the second quarter.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. (Bonus points for his six-yard scramble in the first quarter that managed to keep an early drive alive.) Not great, but certainly good enough to go into the postseason on a positive note.

There is a precedent there from Miami's awful 38-6 loss at Baltimore on December 4, followed one week later by a gritty 26-23 win over Arizona. They won't be traveling for another game this season unless they advance to Super Bowl LII in Houston.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, likely making his final appearance for the team, threw a pair of short touchdown passes as NY routed Buffalo in their season finale at MetLife Stadium. That gave him a 14:1 touchdown to interception ratio.

If you're of the school that the only two teams with a chance to knock off New England at Foxboro are the Steelers or Chiefs, that lineup sets up brilliantly for you. Tom Brady threw touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett and Michael Floyd, who reached the end zone for the first time as a Patriot by bulling his way through several Dolphins defenders.

Ravens receiver Steve Smith caught three passes for 34 yards in what was probably the final game of his remarkable career.

Imagine, not only did the Oakland Raiders go out and lose in Denver, they may have lost their backup QB, Matt McGloin, in the process.

The wide-out was picked up after his release from Arizona and showed he could have a crucial role to play in the hunt for the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Now, the Patriots will have a few weeks off to prepare for the AFC Divisional Round.

As Edelman came across the middle after a quick reception, Floyd came up and made a crushing block. The Dolphins regularly host back to back Hurricane and Dolphins games with only a day in between with little to no problems.

They will have their work cut out for them vs. the Steelers, a team that is no stranger to the playoffs.

It's a big part of why the Patriots are so successful - they win on offense, they can win on defense (though not as much this season), and they always win on special teams.

Nursing a shoulder injury, running back Jay Ajayi was limited to 59 yards on 16 rushes and back-up Kenyan Drake pitched in with 10 yards on 4 carries.

But as well as Miami (10-6) has played in the past two-plus months, it was nearly knocked out on this one in the first half.

Fans should not expect a repeat performance this time. And the first-year coach says his team can ill afford to play like it did against New England. It's a winnable game, but it won't be in dominating fashion like October's game. That same grading system had only seven teams graded lower as a group than the Patriots this year with just two, the New York Giants and Detroit Lions, making the playoffs.