Secure a winning season
It is now impossible to finish with an even record now that the NFL has added a 17th game to the schedule, so the Dolphins won’t finish with the fitting 8-8 record that they deserve.
Instead, they’ll be playing for their 9th win of the season, which would secure the second winning campaign in Brian Flores’ first three years. The second-half turnaround by Miami secured the head coach’s job for now, and the resilience that his team has shown since Week 9 has been nothing short of impressive. Adding another win to surpass their loss total will be important, for optics at least.
The visiting Patriots will be favored by more than five points, meaning that the Vegas oddsmakers aren’t putting much faith in a Dolphins’ upset. But Flores and his squad will be looking to make a statement in the season’s final game, and will look to carry some positive momentum in to the off season. New England has already secured a playoff spot and may only be playing for seeding purposes, which could be pre-determined since this game will fall in the late window.
There is a chance that the Patriots will be resting at least some of their starters, giving the Miami Dolphins an even better shot at finishing with a plus record.