- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Welcome to Sun Life Stadium, where the Patriots visit the Dolphins today (1 p.m. ET):
Weather conditions. Temperatures are in the high 70s, which will make this the warmest game of the Patriots’ 2012 season. Humidity is around 60 percent, according to Weather.com. Winds might be a slight factor, likely more in the kicking game, with gusts currently in the 10-15 mile-per-hour range.
AFC East title on the line. With a victory today, the Patriots would secure their 10th AFC East title in the last 12 seasons. Also, the Patriots can ensure their 12th straight winning season with a victory, a streak surpassed by only the 49ers (1983-98) and Cowboys (1970-85).
Four more inactives to come. Defensive end Chandler Jones, tight end Rob Gronkowski and left guard Logan Mankins have already been ruled out for the game. The Patriots must declare four more players out by 90 minutes before kickoff.
Patriots to wear blue jerseys. As is often the case when the Patriots come to South Florida, the Dolphins get the choice on what jerseys to wear. Thus, the Patriots will be in their “home” blue jerseys. Some view that as the Dolphins attempting to create an advantage in the heat by putting opponents in their darker colors.
Winter gets the call. Ron Winter has been assigned to referee today’s game.
Gumbel and Dierdorf the broadcast pair. Today’s game will be broadcast on CBS, with Greg Gumbel (play-by-play) and Dan Dierdorf (analysis) on the call. They have called one other Patriots game this season, Sept. 30 against the Bills.
Scouts in the house. Scouts from the Texans and 49ers are scheduled to be in attendance. The Patriots play both teams in consecutive weeks – the Texans on Monday Dec. 10 and the 49ers on Sunday Dec. 16, while the Dolphins visit the 49ers on Sunday Dec. 9.
Flyover for those at stadium. Knowing that Patriots fans travel well, and there is expected to be a heavy Patriots presence in the stadium today, there might be interest in knowing there is a flyover scheduled from the 75th Fighter Squadron Tiger Sharks of the 23rd Wing Flying Tigers from Moody Air Force Base.
4hBy Ian O'Connor