Patriots still playing for first-round bye

  • Published: Dec. 26, 2012 at 01:05 p.m. and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport has his thoughts on the game:

Why this game is intriguing: A first-round bye is still possible for the Patriots, and a week off wouldn't be a bad thing for anyone. The Patriots have two goals with the regular season still ongoing -- 1) Find out what happened to cause them to nearly stumble against Jacksonville; 2) Get tight end Rob Gronkowski healthy again. If they accomplish both, whether they have a bye or not, they'll be in position to make another run at the Lombardi Trophy. The Dolphins are merely the vehicle to get it done.