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Greetings from Foxborough

11/8/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- What a gorgeous Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The forecast is for a high temperature of 63 degrees and the skies couldn't be bluer, so clear that I still could see the moon when I walked toward the stadium at 10 a.m.

The forecast for Sunday's only AFC East game -- the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets are on their byes -- appears about as crystalline.

The New England Patriots originally were installed as heavy favorites to beat the Miami Dolphins, and the matchup has gotten easier for the division leaders. The Dolphins on Saturday downgraded two of their better defensive players, underappreciated nose tackle Jason Ferguson and inside linebacker Channing Crowder.

Referee Mike Carey's crew will call the game. Perhaps we'll see if there's anything to Dolphins outside linebacker Joey Porter's contention Patriots quarterback Tom Brady benefits from a special set of rules. Carey has called only one roughing the passer penalty all year, so he doesn't seem too liberal. Any borderline call will be scrutinized.

I'll post the official inactives a little later, but we already have a good head start.

In addition to Dolphins third quarterback Tyler Thigpen, Ferguson and Crowder, we already know these players are out for the Patriots: running backs Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor, receiver Julian Edelman, left tackle Matt Light and defensive lineman Jarvis Green.