Patriots vs. Dolphins: 6 reasons to be excited

2 of 6

Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

5. More work for Steven Jackson

Jackson carried the ball seven times for 15 yards against the New York Jets’ stout defensive front in Week 16, and it looks like he will receive a larger workload this Sunday. According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who coached Jackson with the St. Louis Rams in 2011, plans to give Jackson increased opportunities:

"Steven had really two days of practice last week so I think that it’s fair to say that we wanted to put him in a situation that was fair to him based on the preparation and the work that he had done prior to the game. This week will give us another three days of good work and experience and exposure to him, and for him to the offense, that will give us an opportunity to expand his role, hopefully during the course of the game on Sunday. I have a comfort level with him. I think our offensive staff, we kind of know him better than anybody that comes off the street that we’ve never really been exposed to. Secondly, he’s certainly had exposure to the terminology and the verbiage that we use here so I think that that helps him to close the gap in terms of what he knows and what he doesn’t know. He’s well ahead of somebody that would come in here with zero experience in our system, and I think that would definitely help any new player that would come in at this point in time in the year."

Patriots fans should be excited to see a potential Hall of Fame running back take a bunch of carries on Sunday.

Next: 4. Revenge in Miami