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Huge Patriots comeback clinches bye

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Getty Images

This may have been the best possible type of game for the Patriots to play heading into the postseason.

Down 17-0 at halftime with absolutely nothing working, the Patriots responded with 27 unanswered points by dominating both sides of the ball.

New England won 27-24 despite missing both starting tackles. Guard Logan Mankins started at left tackle, and quickly left with his own injury.

The Dolphins came back to score a touchdown with under two minutes remaining, but the Patriots never gave them the ball back. Tom Brady had a third-and-five with a chance to close out the game, and he hit Wes Welker for six yards.

Welker had 12 catches for 138 yards overall. He now has 116 on the season.

New England’s defensive effort shouldn’t get overlooked here. They forced two turnovers and two punts to start the second half when they absolutely needed it.

The win clinches a playoff bye for the Patriots, despite all their defensive problems. New England can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC by beating the Bills in Foxborough next week.

This is far from a perfect Patriots team, but they have managed to put themselves in position for another Super Bowl run.

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37 Responses to “Huge Patriots comeback clinches bye”
  1. steelersownyou says: Dec 24, 2011 5:33 PM

    Be awesome next week…patriots lose and ravens lose. Steelers beat cleveland…Hello #1 seed!

  2. mistrezzrachael says: Dec 24, 2011 5:36 PM

    This game…was perfect video of Dolphins last 30+ years…good, but never good enough.

    Dolphins can say what they want….but watching 2nd half…they were exhausted…There again, Ross decides to keep that moron Ireland, who knows abosolute zero, ,,,about depth.

  3. clamnewton says: Dec 24, 2011 5:37 PM

    This just in: Rex Ryan interrupted the Pats post-game press conference to announce the Jets are the team-to-beat in 2012 and will win the Super Bowl next year.

  4. mistrezzrachael says: Dec 24, 2011 5:41 PM

    steelersownyou says:
    Dec 24, 2011 5:33 PM
    Be awesome next week…patriots lose and ravens lose. Steelers beat cleveland…Hello #1 seed!

    You think NE will lose to depleated Bills next week?? Not much of a chance on that..been 10 years since they lost in December to someone other than dolphins.

  5. ampats says: Dec 24, 2011 5:42 PM

    The worst first half of football by New England in a couple of years and Brady brings the Pats back and shredded Miami’s D.

    Chung and Spikes will be back for the playoffs.

    Everything will go through Gillette with a W next week.

    This is not the 09/10 Pats.

  6. mistrezzrachael says: Dec 24, 2011 5:43 PM

    clamnewton says:
    Dec 24, 2011 5:37 PM
    This just in: Rex Ryan interrupted the Pats post-game press conference to announce the Jets are the team-to-beat in 2012 and will win the Super Bowl next year.

    That was HILARIOUS…but sadly so true.

  7. quadassio says: Dec 24, 2011 5:44 PM

    Reggie Bush got over a 1,000 yards against the Pats. You know their defense is garbage.

  8. mistrezzrachael says: Dec 24, 2011 5:52 PM

    quadassio says:
    Dec 24, 2011 5:44 PM
    Reggie Bush got over a 1,000 yards against the Pats. You know their defense is garbage.

    He gained 1000 yards in that game????? Watch a replay, he had some good runs, but much of his yardage came on 3rd & very long, so sure, he gains 10, but his team punts.

    Seriously, your comment was pretty dumb..he gained 1000 yds in 15 games…and because Dolphins ALWAYS behind, defenses pay no attention to running game @ end.

  9. 8man says: Dec 24, 2011 5:54 PM

    @steelersownyou

    My first response was to think to myself, “I really hope you just spontaneously combust.” Then I realized that Stooler nation is a big thing and decided to add the word “all”.

    I, mean the Jets just lost and are likely out of the playoffs, and all I can think about is how much I hate the Stoolers…and their fans.

    And speaking of the Jets, I hope I see them raise the Lombardi before I ever see a toothless, urine towel waving yahoo from Pissburgh ever raise it again.

  10. kevpft says: Dec 24, 2011 5:56 PM

    Who’s perfect this year? This season is a total toss-up. I wouldn’t put a SB past any of the teams making the playoffs this year.

  11. badtimeoutcaldwell says: Dec 24, 2011 5:58 PM

    People bag on the Pats defense, but you have to be blind to not see that they come up with huge stops AND turnovers almost every game. That is all Brady needs and he’ll be good to go.

    Giving up a lot of yards is bad, but limiting scores and coming up with turnovers is the great equalizer. I dont think the Pats D has been given enough credit for the latter part…

  12. seanquintin says: Dec 24, 2011 6:04 PM

    quadassio says:
    Dec 24, 2011 5:44 PM
    Reggie Bush got over a 1,000 yards against the Pats. You know their defense is garbage.

    That’s funny, I only counted a little over 100.

  13. jrfrom508 says: Dec 24, 2011 6:07 PM

    Keep talking about how suspect the D is. but watch NE ride that speculation through Indy.

  14. seanquintin says: Dec 24, 2011 6:15 PM

    Pats will have a tough road in the playoffs.

    After a 1st round bye, the second round opponent will be Pitts/Balt, AFC Championship game will be Balt/Pitts.

    I’m not loving our chances, even at home.

  15. promickey says: Dec 24, 2011 6:16 PM

    The Patriots give up a lot of yards on defense. However when they need to get a pass rush and shut a team down they are able to. The second half of this game reflects that. They blitz with schemes to take the quarterbacks time away.

  16. ravenator says: Dec 24, 2011 6:18 PM

    @steelerownyou

    To bad your team has to depend on other teams losing to “win”. In fact, you already “lost” this season. Do you know why? A little thing called a sweep! Baltimore smoked you this year, best you can hope for is a chance to play again. Silly troll.

  17. tonystrong says: Dec 24, 2011 6:43 PM

    I’m a Dolphins fan and if you watched the game, even at 17-0 New England just seemed like they were going to win. Good job by Miami, they played tough and would have had a chance if they got a 3 and out at the end but you kind of just felt the Patriots were going to eventually figure the Dolphins that. Oh, and the fact that the Patriots have out scored Miami like 100-0 there last few meetings in the 2nd half and no one should be surprised by this!

  18. 6ball says: Dec 24, 2011 6:45 PM

    .

    The Patriots defense has performed well enough to give them the best record in the AFC. You only care if you have enough defense to win THAT game THAT Sunday.

    Of what importance is the 421 passing yards that the Patriots gave up to Miami during their week one victory. Could have been 1,421 as long as they won.

    super bowl > stat bowl

    .

  19. shorelinemike says: Dec 24, 2011 6:47 PM

    @quadassio: “Reggie Bush got over a 1,000 yards against the Pats. You know their defense is garbage.”Yes, the Patriots have the #32 defense in yards allowed.And who has the #31 defense in yards allowed?The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.But you don’t hear anyone ragging on the Packers’ defense …

  20. hppykmper says: Dec 24, 2011 6:51 PM

    IMO, it seems like the Patriots spotted their opponents 16 points and still won. Did the same thing to Denver last week…..spotted 10 points and then blew them out of the water.

    Hmmmmmm

  21. richm2256 says: Dec 24, 2011 7:58 PM

    steelersownyou says:
    Dec 24, 2011 5:33 PM
    Be awesome next week…patriots lose and ravens lose. Steelers beat cleveland…Hello #1 seed!

    ———————————————————
    So, what you’re basically saying is that the Steelers can’t win a #1 seed on their own …….and you’re proud of that?

  22. freedomispopular says: Dec 24, 2011 8:26 PM

    Playing at home hasn’t helped them the past 2 years. Just saying.

  23. steelersownyou says: Dec 24, 2011 8:51 PM

    Chances are patriots will win, but steelers dont care we can beat that team easily now..we’re not in 2004 anymore ladies! And as for toothless. I have a beautiful set of pearly whites. Ask your mommy…Either way Steelers will be the afc representative in super bowl again this year! Theyre the best most well rounded team…good offensive, best defense…patriots good offense, awful defense..ravens good defense, bad offense..in either case patriots cant beat steelers or the ravens. Nobody is scared to play you.. You are the meaning of the phrase…1 and done….that’s what she said! Ohhhhhh

  24. bsizemore68 says: Dec 24, 2011 8:59 PM

    The pats suck, the league looks out for them, the flag boys are in there pocket, I see one and out, and of course they are Yankees. Bill

  25. steelersownyou says: Dec 24, 2011 9:13 PM

    I don’t care how we get a win for any seed. If another team loses thats great. Ain’t no shame in my game. I’ll take handouts. I’m not shy. So feel free to choke! I’ll take it with a smile on my face…kinda like your mom does! Ohhhhh!

  26. tedmurph says: Dec 24, 2011 9:57 PM

    @steelersownyou:

    Your brand of humor kills in 7th grade around here. I guess you’re the life of the party in Pittsburgh. Can’t wait to see the ravens and steelers beat the crap out of each other in the divisional round. The winner will get to come to Foxboro to get smoked in the AFC Championship game. Good luck with that.

  27. CKL says: Dec 24, 2011 10:50 PM

    bsizemore68 says:
    Dec 24, 2011 8:59 PM
    The pats suck, the league looks out for them, the flag boys are in there pocket, I see one and out, and of course they are Yankees. Bill
    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    Half of FL consists of Yankees. Your point????
    Whining about flags yet having no specifics especially (like the call on neutral zone infraction vs Mia that probably should have been against Hernandez for example, the only call I saw Mia get the short end of) is loser talk, Fins fan. :roll:

    To me the first half looked more like a typical Pats-Mia game. I bet you fully half of the worst games TB has ever played were against Mia. And it’s been since 2007 since the Pats have swept any team Jason Taylor plays for. He’s a Pats killer, even at 45,966 years old. The 09 squad wouldn’t have had a prayer once down 17 pts. They would have folded like a lawnchair. I’m glad this team has some mental toughness. They will need it. Oh and Dante Scarnecchia is a beast. Losing your LT minutes before a game starts is a tough deal.

  28. bospat says: Dec 24, 2011 11:01 PM

    Really Steeler fan?, 2 wins vs. Pats in last 5 years? Please…

  29. tedmurph says: Dec 24, 2011 11:55 PM

    One of those wins was against Matt Cassell

  30. steelersownyou says: Dec 25, 2011 7:59 AM

    How quick thou forget. We beat brady twice in last 4 years and cassel once.. Its over for your team! I hope we have to go to foxboro. To play in afc championship. That would be the ultimate payback. Then you would feel like we did in 2004. This is gonna be ultimate redemption season! I will love every minute of it!

  31. dolphins4 says: Dec 25, 2011 8:23 AM

    Daniel Thomas is a china doll,he ‘s the worst second round pick the Dolphins have ever made.

  32. mike32303 says: Dec 25, 2011 10:54 AM

    @steelersownyou

    Bro you got beat by ur division rival twice be quiet.
    And Brady is what like 6-2 against pittsburgh lifetime. Not to mention we got scheduled twice at Heinz and crapped all over you last year. Hey if u still think about revenge from 04 ur pathetic.

  33. erlynx says: Dec 25, 2011 11:47 AM

    Writing down the name steelersownyou to laaaaugh and laaaaaugh when a gimpy rothlisburger throws 3 picks in foxborough like he did in sf. If its over for anyone, its the steelers. Pats defense may be not good but their offense is incredible. Your team is incredible at being in Batman trailers and court cases. Also, remember when they lost the superbowl last year? I remember! It was hysterical!

  34. tedmurph says: Dec 25, 2011 12:16 PM

    Then you would feel like we did in 2004.
    ————————————————-
    Don’t forget 2001, the first playoff game Brady won in Pitts(before winning SB). Brady is 6-2 lifetime against Pitt. One loss this yr, other in 2004(yr. he later won playoff game in Pitts and won SB). Pretty tough to sweep Pats and Belichick in the same yr. Be careful what you wish for.

  35. steelersownyou says: Dec 25, 2011 6:13 PM

    you’ll never beat us. We embarrassed you this year and if you play us again we’ll embarrass you again. Ben will throw 5 td’s and 400 yards against that vrap defenae. Jets came into your house and crushed you in playoffs last year. Amazing you cant win in playoffs anymore..ya know since belicheat got caught cheating! You stand no chance in playoffs. Either ravens will beat you or we will! Nobody is scared of the patriots! This isnt 2004 anymore patriot fans…you havent won a playoff game since god knows when..Enjoy watching the steelers in super bowl again..you can watch us raise the 7th lombardi while we celebrate and you patriot fans think back to when it was good for you…you know the times you cheated to win super bowls…reality check for you suckas!

  36. tedmurph says: Dec 25, 2011 11:49 PM

    You have it backwards. Steelers have never gotten to the SB when they had to go thru the Patriots.

  37. shorelinemike says: Dec 26, 2011 1:53 AM

    @steelersownyou:

    “you’ll never beat us. We embarrassed you this year and if you play us again we’ll embarrass you again. Ben will throw 5 td’s and 400 yards against that vrap defenae.” (sic)

    Hey, everybody … lookie here! It’s Rex and Rob Ryan’s long-lost brother!

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