Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Miami Dolphins face off against the New England Patriots later today, bringing their 2012 season to a close. When that game ends, it could mean the end of the road in Miami for several things, to include players and the Dolphins logo.
The 2012 regular season ends today, with the Miami Dolphins looking to beat their AFC East division rivals, the New England Patriots. The end of the game - and the end of the season - could mean the end of several things in Miami.
- The end of a losing streak? - The Dolphins last beat the Patriots in 2009. A win today would end that streak. Can the Dolphins do it? We will know sometime around 6:30pm Eastern.
- End of losing record streak? - Again, the Dolphins have to win today to end this streak. The Dolphins have had losing records at the end of the last three seasons. That could end today where a win would bring the Dolphins to an 8-8 record. While it's not a winning record, a non-losing record would be a nice way to end the season.
- Jake Long in Miami - Obviously, Long will not be at the game today, given his injured reserve status, but this game could the last one in which Jake Long is a member of the Dolphins. The team looks like they have found a solid left tackle for the zone blocking scheme they want to run with rookie tackle Jonathan Martin. Long, who was not selected for the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career this year, is on a down slope right now, having seen his once elite level come back down as injuries have begun to mount for the number one overall pick in 2008. If Long is looking for elite left tackle money, the Dolphins could let him walk away in free agency this offseason. Obviously, we won't know for sure until ink is on a contract somewhere, but it would not be a surprise if Long was not in aqua next year.
- Reggie Bush in Miami - Bush could also be on his way out in Miami, but not because his play is diminishing. Bush should claim his second straight 1,000 yard rushing season today, the second of his career, both with the Dolphins. He's clearly a very talented running back still, and could be a weapon in Miami, but it's going to depend on his money demands. Reports this past week have said that the Dolphins would like to bring him back, but that GM Jeff Ireland is ready to move on to rookie running back Lamar Miller next year if Bush wants more than what the Dolphins think they should pay him.
- Brian Hartline as a number one wide receiver - Hartline has had a great season. He's filled in nicely for Brandon Marshall, who was traded this past offseason (of course, Marshall went off in Chicago this year...apparently, he can only be an amazing wide out with Jay Cutler), and reach 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career. Next year, the Dolphins should have a "number one" wide out to push Hartline to the number two option. Of course, this also assumed Miami re-signs Hartline who is a free agent after this year.
- DC$ in Miami - Dan Carpenter is the most accurate kicker in Miami history, but there's no denying that he struggled early this year. He has come around as the year progressed, but don't be surprised if the Dolphins bring in a kicker to at least challenge DC$ this offseason.