Patriots Showdown vs Miami Next Sunday Flexed to 4:25pm

Ian Logue
December 24, 2012 at 12:37am ET

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Leave it to the NFL to try and make the final weekend a little more interesting.

As New England prepares for their final regular season game next weekend at home against the Dolphins, the league has moved their start time to 4:25, setting it up for more fans to keep an eye on other games that could affect the playoff seeding.

One key game for fans to watch is the match-up between Indianapolis and Houston, which has a 1:00pm start time in Indianapolis and could potentially hold implications for the Patriots.  The Texans lost on Sunday, and should they lose to the Colts next weekend it could open up an opportunity for the Patriots to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Houston is currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC, with Denver currently holding the No. 2 seed.  Should the Broncos also lose (they're playing against Kansas City), New England would potentially become the No. 1 seed - provided they take care of business against Miami.

One would have to believe the odds are better that the Colts, who battle the Texans at home, will come away with a win while the Chiefs - unless they're going to go all out to send Romeo Crennel off with a win - will have a much harder time with Peyton Manning out in Denver.

Either way there's a good chance most fans in New England will be watching intently to the outcome of the 1:00 game to see what happens with Houston.  That will certainly set the stage for a meaningful match-up when it's over against the Dolphins, which is clearly what the league is hoping for.

Needless to say be sure and adjust your DVR's accordingly.