--The Dolphins are aware the Jets (8-7) still have a faint chance of making it into the playoffs as a wild-card team, but Sunday's game isn't about playing spoiler. It's about finishing the season strong. Even so, there's no denying the stakes have intensified.
"To be able to affect the outcome of a rival is obviously a motivation,
but we're playing for us," defensive end Jared Odrick said. "We're
going out there to accomplish what we want to do. We're not worried
about the other team."
--Quarterback Matt Moore is
now ranked 36th in fourth-quarter passing. He has a 61.6 rating during
that critical quarter. Only five starters -- Oakland's Carson Palmer,
Chicago's Jay Cutler, Cincinnati's Andy Dalton, Miami's Chad Henne and
Indianapolis' Curtis Painter -- have been worse this season.
"I wish I could put a finger on it for you," interim coach Todd Bowles
said of the team's fourth-quarter struggles. "If I knew the answer to
that, we sure wouldn't have lost the fourth-quarter games we had. They
made some plays in the end. It's a different guy each play. Each game
it's a different guy here or there that can swing it one or the other.
"I don't think it's lost in the fourth quarter. You lose some of those
games in the first and second quarter off of different plays. This
week, I think we lost it in the third quarter."
--"It just speaks to the character of the men in this room. We don't
quit. We just fight and keep swinging. That's been out mentality all
year long," guard Richie Incognito said of the team's respectable
second half of the season, which features Miami winning five of its
past eight games.
--Receiver Brandon Marshall has
caught 77 passes for 1,177 yards and six touchdowns this season.
However, he's also second in the NFL in dropped passes, and many of
those costly mistakes have come in the end zone.
left a lot of opportunities out there, and it all comes down to focus.
I've got to get better at focusing on the task at hand," Marshall said.
--With his 113 rushing yards against the Patriots, Reggie Bush became
the 12th player in team history to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau. He
has 1,086 yards, the eighth-best, single-season total in team history,
and he's got a pretty solid shot of getting into the top five during
Sunday's season finale against the Jets. Bush is 54 yards away from
passing Lamar Smith's 1,139 rushing yards for fourth place.
--The Dolphins were blown out by the Patriots in last year's season
finale when nothing was at stake. Interim coach Todd Bowles doesn't
foresee a similar season-ending result this year.
think last year (the Patriots) just beat the pants off of us. This
week, like it's been every week, we're a tough team. These guys have
stuck together all year. There's no reason why we're not going to stick
together for one more game," Bowles said.
Dolphins: Playing spoiler holds little appeal
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