The last time the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins met, the Patriots clinched the AFC East divisional title and with a win Sunday against the Dolphins, the Patriots could possibly grab a playoff bye—that is if they get a little help.
The only way for the Pats to snag a playoff bye is if the Indianapolis Colts are able to knock off the Houston Texans or if the Denver Broncos completely trip and fall against the 2-13 Kansas City Chiefs. However, the only way for this to happen is if the Patriots are able to take care of business against the Dolphins.
With that being said, let's take a look at three Dolphins that the Patriots should look out for.
1. Cameron Wake
Cameron Wake is arguably the only bright spot on Miami's 18th ranked defense.
Wake has recorded 15 sacks on the season, which is good enough for fourth most in the NFL entering the final week of the regular season.
The last time these two teams met, Wake absolutely dominated Sebastian Vollmer and put constant pressure on Tom Brady. Wake finished the game with three tackles include 1.5 sacks.
Brady has been under constant pressure as of late. In fact, Brady has been hit 67 times on the season with 16 of those coming in the last two weeks and seven of those against the Dolphins back in Week 13.
If the Patriots want to have offensive success, it all starts with keeping Brady off of his back.
2. Reggie Bush
Much like a season ago, Reggie Bush will enter the final game of the season against the New England Patriots with a chance at eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark on the season.
Bush enters Week 17 with 960 rushing yards on the season with 64 of those coming against the Patriots earlier this season. Bush has also recorded 33 receptions on the season while accumulating 269 yards and scoring a total of eight touchdowns on the season.
What scares me about Bush isn't his ability running the ball, but it's his ability of being a receiver coming out of the backfield which has caused problems for Jerod Mayo and New England's linebacker corps this season.
3. Brian Hartline
Assuming that Brian Hartline does play, he could prove to be a problem for the Patriots.
Hartline was Miami's leading receiver during Week 13 against the Pats as he recorded five receptions for a whopping 84 yards.
On the year, Hartline has reeled in 69 receptions for a solid 1,014 yards while scoring just one touchdown on the season.
Aside from Bush, Hartline is arguably Miami's only offensive player that poises a threat against New England.