DOLPHINS CONFIDENT HEADING INTO PLAYOFFS

The Dolphins found late Monday night that their opponent in Sunday's wild-card playoff game at Pro Player Stadium will be the Baltimore Ravens. But their biggest concern all along was trying to build some momentum heading into the playoffs, which is something they accomplished with their 34-7 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.

The victory gave Miami an 11-5 regular season record for the second consecutive season, and the two-game winning streak to end the regular season was the Dolphins' first since 1996.

"It's not so much finishing up with 11 wins, but how we finished up," said Coach Dave Wannstedt. "I think that's been something that's been a topic here for a long time. We have not only won four of our last six in December and January, but also, really, winning five of our last seven games.

"We know the two games that we lost were both to playoff teams in a short period of time and on the road. I think that our football team has done a really great job of finding a way to finish the regular season as strong as we possibly could have. I think that's a real positive to carry into the postseason."

As a point of reference, this is the first time the Dolphins won the last two games heading into the playoffs since the 1992 season.

Miami split its last two regular season games in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2000, and entered the playoffs on a two-game losing streak in 1997 and 1999.

As far as the opponent, it's impossible to find any coach on any team who would ever publicly state a preference, and Wannstedt was no different.

Wannstedt was asked on Monday whether he would have a tougher time preparing his team mentally if the opponent turned out to be the Jets because of New York's eight-game winning streak against the Dolphins. "No, I'm sure there won't be anything written about it," Wannstedt joked. "So I won't have any problems."

On a more serious note, Wannstedt pointed out that the biggest factor come Sunday afternoon was that the Dolphins were happy to be playing at home. And happy with the way they are entering the playoffs.

"We've won 11 games. Our guys have had a lot of injuries and we played a tougher schedule. Our guys may have done a better job this year than they did last year if you look at everything involved: injuries, schedule, and New England coming on in our division," Wannstedt said. "The only thing better was if we would have had the bye. Then again, we're playing at home and coming off two wins. We are where we are and we feel good about it."


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