Miami Dolphins look to clinch playoffs to kick off new year

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Mike McDaniel and Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Miami Dolphins talks before the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Mike McDaniel and Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Miami Dolphins talks before the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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The calendar changed along with the year at midnight and now the Miami Dolphins can put their winless December behind them and start anew.

Today, Miami will kick off 2023 in New England with a chance to clinch the playoffs by day’s end. The weather will in the mid-50s unlike the freezing cold two weeks ago in Buffalo but there will be nothing warm about the crowd.

At quarterback, the Dolphins have to ride with Teddy Bridgewater who will start in place of Tua Tagovailoa who is again, out with a concussion.

To make the playoffs, the scenario is easy, win at New England and then hope the Jets lose in Seattle. If you are one of those “the NFL is rigged” type of fans, you can expect the Dolphins and Jets both to win today setting up a win and you’re in the playoffs finale to the season next week in Miami.

The biggest question on the minds of Miami Dolphins fans is how will Teddy Bridgewater play. Bridgewater has started one game against the Jets this year but was knocked out on the first play from scrimmage. By knocked out we mean pulled from the game by a concussion spotter in the stands despite showing absolutely zero signs of anything.

In his other work this year, he hasn’t been anything but average.

Miami’s chances of winning today will rest on his arm and legs against a good New England defense that has shut down far better quarterbacks. Today could be a big defensive game and may come down to a simple matter of field position and turnovers.

Miami will play at 1:00 today and the Jets will follow in the 4:00 slot so prepare for two meaningful games unless the Dolphins losing streak continues and then, it won’t matter what the Jets do. Next week will be the deciding factor on who gets in and who doesn’t. Today isn’t a 100% must-win but it is the only way the Dolphins control their own destiny to the postseason.