Quick Take: Patriots-Dolphins

In Brief

» Last meeting: In Week 9, the Patriots held off the visiting Dolphins, 27-17.
» Streaks: The Patriots have won four of the past five, but trail the overall series, 49-39, including the playoffs.
» Last week: New England went into New Orleans and left with a meager 38-17 loss. ... Miami faltered down the stretch and was beaten by Buffalo, 31-14.

Keep your eye on ...Chad Henne's effectiveness: While the Dolphins' rushing attack continues to be one of the league's best, even without Ronnie Brown, the passing game is still lagging behind. Henne has been remarkably consistent (he has 17 completions and between 172 and 175 passing yards in three consecutive games), but he needs to up his production for the Dolphins to have a chance against an explosive Patriots team.

Joey Porter making his presence felt: Prior to getting shut out in his first game against the Patriots this year, Porter had been on a roll vs. New England, with eight sacks in his last four outings. He talked plenty of trash before getting blanked in the Week 9 meeting, and it is on him to come up big this time around.

Wes Welker's production: When Welker is heavily involved in the Patriots' game plan, they are far more dangerous. In fact, New England is 4-0 this season when Welker has at least 100 yards receiving, and only 2-3 when he doesn't (this does not include two games Welker missed). After a tough game against the Saints, in which Welker was held to a season-low 32 yards, look for the Patriots to get him involved early and often.

Did you know?

Since 2000, the Patriots are an NFL-best 50-28 in December. ... New England's Randy Moss is 8 yards away from joining Jerry Rice as the only players in league history with 10 1,000-yard receiving seasons. ... Dolphins coach Tony Sparano has a 4-0 record in December. ... If the playoffs started today, the Patriots would be in and the Dolphins would be out. Get an updated look at the postseason picture.

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