Sports

Today’s Matchups

Dolphins at Patriots

Line: Patriots by 4-1/2

Last meeting: Patriots won, 14-12, at Miami on Monday night.

Key stat: Patriots have won three in a row and four of the last five against the Dolphins.

Worth watching: New England running back Curtis Martin was held out of Monday night’s game to get him ready for this one - he’s still listed as questionable with a shoulder injury and a groin injury. Does Miami quarterback Dan Marino have another big playoff game in him?

Outlook: When the Dolphins fell to New England, they lost more than the home field for this game. They lost whatever momentum they had going into the playoffs. The Patriots finished by winning four of their last five.

Lions at Buccaneers

Line: Bucs by 2-1/2

Last meeting: Detroit won, 27-9, at Tampa on Oct. 12.

Key stat: Lions have won five of their last six; Bucs lost three of last five.

Worth watching: Detroit has the NFL leaders in rushing (Barry Sanders, 2,053 yards) and receiving (Herman Moore, 104 catches). Tampa Bay must generate a running game from Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott.

Outlook: The Lions are only a No. 5 seed, but they are a team with two great players that is getting hot. Bucs are 5-6 since their 5-0 start. Their offense has been slumping. Was last week’s 31-15 victory over the Bears the beginning of a resurgence? These teams split their regular-season games, both winning on the road.



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