And a hell of a lot tougher!
With Denver's loss to San Diego last night, the Patriots are now in the driver's seat for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Prior to last night's game in Denver, the Patriots were sitting in the 2 hole with an opportunity to clinch their 11th AFC East Championship in the last 13 years by beating our Dolphins in Miami on Sunday.
Now both New England and Denver each have 3 losses, but the Patriots beat the Broncos 34-31 three weeks ago, so Brady and company hold the head to head tie breaker.
Sunday's game in Miami, is an opportunity for our Dolphins to not only stay in the hunt for the 6 seed in the playoffs but, more importantly, prove that they are more than just a pesky chihuahua nipping at the ankles of formidable intruder.
The Patriots are a proven commodity. One that knows how to win games in many different fashions with many different faces.
Our Dolphins have plenty of talent but haven't proven much beyond they can win 4 out of 8 games which have been decided by 4 points or less. Those 8 games are the most by any team in the NFL so far this season.
That stat alone tells me 2 things:
1) The Dolphins are just 4 plays away from being 11-2
2) The Dolphins are just 4 plays away from being 3-10
That pretty much tells us how this roller coaster of a season has gone. With last week's game at Pittsburgh completely encapsulating all that has occurred. Quick starts followed by bumpy roads, ups and downs on the scoreboard in a difficult climate with very strange moments culminating with a bazaar finish.
That is pretty much how 2013 has played out so far.
What Sunday's game will tell us is just how tough that pesky pup is.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog!
If our Dolphins are to take a dramatic leap forward then they are going to have to beat New England when the Patriot's stakes just got a lot higher for themselves.
And doing that would prove that Miami truly does have a dog in the hunt.
Dolfan since 12/25/1971