FOXBORO -- The Patriots' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday wasn't pretty by any means, but it was still a win. That's how the Miami Dolphins look at it as they watch the tape and prepare for their Week 17 game against New England at Gillette Stadium.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin sees what the Patriots did against the Jaguars, and he sees a team that doesn't panic and a team that knows how to handle a game when things aren't going their way.
"They're a team that -- they know how to win," said Philbin in a conference call on Wednesday. "Number one, first and foremost, they know how to win. They don't panic. They keep their poise. They got down, I believe 10-0, if I'm not mistaken. There's never a sense of panic there. Those guys have confidence in themselves. They made plays and won the game. That's kind of what has to impress you the most about these guys, is the consistency and the belief that they have in that they're going to win every time they step onto the field."
The 7-8 Dolphins have been eliminated from the playoff race, but their coach still believes his team has something to play for.
"I told the team, this is a football team we're going up to play that's -- let's call it what it is -- they've dominated this division for over a decade," Philbin said. "So, I mean, if you can't get excited about playing the best in your division to close out your season, then you're not a professional football player. So hopefully, and we were very clear today that we're going to have to play our best game of the year on the road to beat an excellent New England team. I think our guys will be ready to play."
As for what a win in New England would mean to the Dolphins, even though it wouldn't put them into the playoffs, Philbin said, "We'd be 8-8, so we would avoid a losing season. I think that's good. I think it would be a great way to finish for these guys. They've made a lot of sacrifices and have worked their tails off since April 10 to represent this franchise the right way. And I think it would be a tremendous way to finish. As I said, it's not going to be easy. This is an excellent team we're playing, that's extremely well-coached."