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Pats vs. Dolphins: Pregame Notes

The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-5) take on the MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-7) at Gillette Stadium. The two teams have announced today's players inactives.

No. Player Pos.
2 Doug Flutie 3QB
22 Asante Samuel CB
25 Artrell Hawkins S
28 Corey Dillon RB
54 Tedy Bruschi LB
81 Bethel Johnson WR
82 Daniel Graham TE
97 Jarvis Green DL
No. Player Pos.
17 Cleo Lemon 3QB
42 Norman LeJune S
50 Nick Rogers LB
70 C.J. Brooks G
75 Manuel Wright DT
79 Anthony Alabi T
88 Cliff Russell WR
92 Mike Labinjo LB

The Patriots have signed wide receiver Bam Childress to the active roster. New England now reports 53 players of the active roster. Childress will were #13.

PLAYOFF POSSIBILITIESNew England Patriots - 2005 AFC East Champions
The Patriots have clinched the 2005 AFC East title and have won three straight division championships for the first time in team history. New England will host a playoff game during the weekend of Jan. 7-8. If the Patriots defeat the Dolphins on Sunday and the Cincinnati Bengals lose on the road to the Kansas City Chiefs, New England will claim the third seed in the AFC playoffs and will host the AFC's sixth seed in the first round (either Pittsburgh or Kansas City). In that scenario, both the Patriots and Bengals would both finish 11-5, but the Patriots would claim the higher seed based on a better conference record (8-4 to 7-5). If the Patriots lose to the Dolphins or the Bengals beat the Chiefs, then New England will be seeded fourth in the AFC playoffs and will host the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have clinched the fifth seed.

HOT WHEN IT'S COLDThe weather may turn cold late in the NFL season, but in recent years the Patriots have remained red hot. New England has historically responded well to the cold, compiling a 20-1 record since 1993 when the temperature is 34 degrees or less. And when it gets even colder the Patriots get even better - they're 14-0 since 1993 when it's 30 degrees or less. New England has also won 15 straight games when it's been 35 degrees or less. Additionally, quarterback Tom Brady has been perfect in cold conditions, going 20-0 as a starter when the kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees.

SERIES HISTORYThe New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will meet for the 81st time in their history in their 40th year as division foes. The Patriots have won five of the last six matchups between the teams, including the last four games in Foxborough. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins in Miami on Nov. 13, 2005, with a late touchdown to overcome a 1-point deficit and claim a 23-16 victory. New England trails in the overall series, 46-34 including the postseason. With a victory, New England would sweep the season series with the Dolphins for the first time since 2003 and for just the sixth time since the teams began squaring off in 1966. The last time Miami visited Gillette Stadium was on Oct. 10, 2004, a game in which the Patriots set the all-time pro football record with their 19th consecutive victory. The Patriots are 8-2 in their last 10 home games against Miami, dating back to the 1996 season.

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