The Miami Dolphins started their 2021 season with high hopes and a win against the New England Patriots and rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Since that Week 1 victory, the Dolphins have stumbled through a seven-game losing streak, then turned around and won seven-straight games, before dropping last week’s contest against the Tennessee Titans. That loss, in tandem with several other game results, knocked Miami out of playoff contention.
Meanwhile, the Patriots rebounded from a 2-4 start to the season to sit at 10-6 with a game to play. Their season, including a seven-game winning streak of their own, has them locked into the postseason and potentially reclaim the AFC East division championship.
The franchises face off in the league’s first Week 18. The 17 weeks between the start and end of the annual home-and-home series has seen a lot of changes for both teams. Will Miami be able to complete the season sweep over the Patriots, something they have not done since 2000? Miami has won the last two games, dating back to the 2020 season, and could ensure the Patriots do not move ahead of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East standings and AFC playoff picture.
While there is a lot riding on this game for the Patriots, it is not a major factor in the television broadcast plans for the weekend. The game, along with the New York Jets at Buffalo Bills game, was moved into the 4:25 p.m. Eastern time slot on CBS. Along with the Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers contest, those are the only games on the network in the late afternoon window. Carolina/Tampa Bay and New York/Buffalo dominate the coverage map, while the New England/Miami game is limited to regional coverages.
The Patriots at Dolphins will be seen on local CBS networks in the Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Myers markets in Florida. It will also air in most of New England including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and a portion of northeast New York. Outside of the regional coverage for the two teams, most of Alabama - with ties to both Jones and Miami’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa - will get the game, as well Hawaii - Tagovailoa’s home.
Spero Dedes and Jay Felly will handle the broadcast commentary.