Patriots vs. Dolphins: 6 reasons to be excited

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Patriots vs. Dolphins: 6 reasons to be excited

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

To help pass the time until kickoff between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins in Week 17, here are six reasons to be excited for the AFC East showdown.

6. (Likely) return of Julian Edelman

Hopefully, Edelman returns to action in Week 17 for the first time since getting his foot rolled up on against the New York Giants awhile back. Tom Brady misses his most trusted target more than anything in the world. As WEEI’s Ryan Hannable noted yesterday, that much has been clear on third downs:

Now, it’s not for certain the Edelman will suit up in Week 17. The Patriots may devise a game plan in which they can exploit the Dolphins’ defensive weaknesses without Edelman, allowing their star to rest and recover another week.

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But then again, that could lead to some rusty hands when Edelman takes the field for the Patriots’ Divisional Round game in mid-January. Should Edelman miss this game, he will have been off the field for nearly two months by the time the Patriots embark on their first playoff game. Brady and Edelman may have one hell of a rapport, but every quarterback-receiver duo needs reps in live action, not just on the practice field.

Anyway, should Edelman appear on the 53-man roster this Sunday, that will be a major source of excitement for Patriots fans.

Next: 5. More work for Steven Jackson