Patriots clinch AFC East in Miami

It wasn’t the prettiest Patriots performance that you’ll ever see, but the result was still pretty good for the Patriots.

They wrapped up the AFC East with a 23-16 win over the Dolphins that featured almost no offensive fireworks in the second half. There was no scoring in the third quarter and just four field goals in the fourth as the Patriots defense made an early lead stand up all day.

Miami picked up 277 yards all day against a Patriots defense that made life very difficult for Ryan Tannehill. Before picking up 56 yards on two passes in the final seconds, Tannehill had thrown for 130 yards while completing less than half his passes. Trevor Scott, playing more in place of the injured Chandler Jones, had two sacks and forced a fumble in the first half. The Dolphins defense held up well in the second half too, but they couldn’t get off the field in the fourth quarter when the game was hanging in the balance.

The Patriots offense salted the game away with a 16-play, 7:18 drive for Stephen Gostkowski’s third field goal of the day in the fourth quarter. They picked up six first downs, relying mostly on Stevan Ridley to move the ball against the Dolphins defense. That put them up two scores with 75 seconds left in the game and the Dolphins’ gambit of kicking a field goal before recovering an onside kick didn’t make it.

Seeding is now the Patriots’ main concern, although they could have a tough time catching the Ravens if Baltimore beats Pittsburgh this afternoon. They’ll trail the Ravens by a game and Baltimore has the tiebreaker thanks to their 31-30 win over New England earlier this season.

27 responses to “Patriots clinch AFC East in Miami

  1. If I’m not mistaken, with the win and the Division Title, the Patriots move ahead of the Dolphins for all time AFC East Division Titles with 15

    AFC East Division Titles:

    New England Patriots – 15
    Miami Dolphins – 14
    Buffalo Bills – 10
    Indianapolis Colts – 6
    Houston Oilers – 4
    New York Jets – 4

    That’s right. The Jets have fewer AFC East Titles than the Colts, a team that left the Division a decade ago – And they’re tied with a team that hasn’t been in the AFC East since 1970

  2. Can you tell the people that write these articles are Patriot fans??? What they don’t tell you is the flagrant face mask on Tannehill and no call???? The refs have a Patriot agenda like PFT!!!! How much is Kraft paying you guys?

  3. New England has three losses, the Ravens have two. If they win out, Denver beats Baltimore and all three finish 13-3, the Patriots win the three-way tiebreaker because they’ll have the best record in-conference.

  4. Dolphins D played hard but didn’t get enough points production to win. Brady looked beatable and let one slip away.
    Fins certaintly preformed better than all else facing the pats the last month.

  5. The Patriots defense is playing better every week, the offense won’t be held in check like this often but when they are it’s nice to know the defense can step up.

    As close as this game was (and the Dolphins are a good team with a top ten defense) if Gostowski doesn’t miss a field goal and if Welker held on to an easy touchdown the Patriots would have had 30 points.

    It’s all in the Patriots’ hands the offense just needs to execute better and they are almost impossible to stop. And with an improving defense the Patriots are right on schedule to peak in December and January.

  6. If I’m not mistaken, with the win and the Division Title, the Patriots move ahead of the Dolphins for all time AFC East Division Titles with 15.

    If Im not mistaken, Miami is the only team do go undefeated and Win the Superbowl….oh so close

  7. eigglesnosuperbowls says:
    Dec 2, 2012 6:44 PM
    Worse division in football and has been for a long time !

    —-

    Wrong!!
    As usual

    We have already been over this, try and keep up!

    The worse division on football or at least the AFC over the last 10 years has been the AFC South.

    It’s ok we get how the haters always try to make excuses as to why the Patriots are good.

  8. igotgamenj says:
    Dec 2, 2012 5:42 PM
    If I’m not mistaken, with the win and the Division Title, the Patriots move ahead of the Dolphins for all time AFC East Division Titles with 15.

    If Im not mistaken, Miami is the only team do go undefeated and Win the Superbowl….oh so close
    ————————————————————–
    Well son, if I’m not mistaken the Patriots have more Super Bowl appearances (7-5) and victories (3-2) than the Dolphins. Including a win in Miami in 1986 for the AFC title against Dan Marino.

    In fact, the population of the USA the last time the Dolphins won it was 214 million. It’s 310 million now. Meaning, about 60% of the population wasn’t alive or here to see it. Irrelevant!

  9. Funny. I didn’t see any spy cameras anywhere and we won the division. Again. Haters? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  10. truthfactory says:Dec 2, 2012 5:07 PM

    No fair, they get 6 games against the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins every year…

    It really doesn’t matter. Division games are brutal no matter how good or bad a team is. Jacksonville has always given the colts fits no matter how bad they were and how good the Colts were.

  11. pattunya says:
    Dec 2, 2012 8:25 PM
    Funny. I didn’t see any spy cameras anywhere and we won the division. Again. Haters? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
    ———

    BB learned his lesson now hes sneakier…

  12. Having won nine of ten AFC East titles since 2003, New England’s dominance in the division is not debatable. But for Brady’s season-ending injury at the beginning of the 2008 season, the Pats likely would be ten for ten. Critics can argue to the contrary until they’re blue in the face, but that speaks volumes about the enormous success of the franchise, in general, and the Belichick/Brady combo, in particular.

  13. More of the same for a pathetic Dolphins organization. Ross and Ireland fired Sparano saying all the pieces were in place. Well, if they are then anything less than 10 wins this season is a failure. Nice job Ireland.

  14. Wannstache, if you don’t see the improvement in the Dolphins, and their growth despite a dearth of talent, you’re missing out on the excellent job Philben has done as a coach.

    As for the Patriots, Belichick and Brady may be the best ever. Walsh and Montana, Noll and Bradshaw, Lombardi and Starr, and others were great but what B and B have done in the salary cap era is unmatched. The Patriots have successfully reloaded their roster and are poised to continue to win for years.

  15. Pats were lucky to get away with that one. Good D against the run, got lucky with bad passes from the rookie in pass D though. Brady looked a little rattled… Fins played tough, as you would expect with them fighting to get back to .500. Best Dolphins team in a while, and suspect they will be playoff material if the kid keeps on the upswing.

    Next two weeks we’ll learn more about the Pats than we have in the last two months.

  16. Fins always play the Pats tough, especially on defense. This was the first time ever in the BB era that the Pats won in Mia in Dec. and they have certainly fielded better teams than this year’s version of the Pats.

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