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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Dolphins expect full-force Pats

By Steven Krasner

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The debate rages in New England as to how much the Patriots should play their regulars Sunday in a meaningless regular-season-ending game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

The Pats, who have won seven in a row, are a league-best 13-2 and already have clinched a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. The Dolphins are 7-8.

The Dolphins, though, are preparing as if they’ll be facing the Patriots starters for the entire game.

“I think we’ll see the regulars,” said Miami quarterback Chad Henne on Wednesday’s conference call. “Everyone on that team is a competitor. [New England coach] Bill Belichick is going to want his guys to finish strong and get that 14th win.”

Miami coach Tony Sparano was of the same mindset, fully expecting a heavy dose of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

“I would expect to see a great deal of him,” said Sparano. “I’m sure the Patriots want to win their 14th football game. I’m sure they will do everything in their power to get that game. Most teams going into the playoffs want to go in as hot as they can be.”