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Patriots wrap up bye with shutout of Dolphins

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Getty Images

The Patriots weren’t happy with their level of performance in last week’s win over a team from Florida already out of playoff contention so they brought a bit more to the field with them against the Dolphins this Sunday.

New England clicked in all phases of their game and crushed the Dolphins 28-0 to close out the regular season. With the Texans losing to the Colts earlier in the day, the Patriots have secured a bye for the first week of the playoffs and they will host the higher seeded team to advance from the Wild Card game in two weeks.

Everybody got to do a little work for the Pats. Stevan Ridley scored twice, Rob Gronkowski had two catches and a touchdown in his return to the lineup and Wes Welker caught eight passes for 94 yards in his typical day’s work. The offense wasn’t entirely crisp — Tom Brady hit on 22-of-36 passes — but it was more than enough to make the work of the defense stand up for the win.

Ryan Tannehill was picked off once and he botched a handoff with Reggie Bush that became a second turnover inside the Patriots’ 5-yard line. The Patriots also sacked Tannehill seven times, with defensive lineman Justin Francis picking up three of them to lead the team. They are the first three sacks of Francis’ career and it was a strong closing performance from the Patriots defense across the board with the playoffs ahead.

No playoffs await the Dolphins, although they do have copious amounts of cap space and a bit more security on the coaching staff and at quarterback than they’ve enjoyed in recent years. That’s a good place to start building a team that can join or replace the Patriots in the playoffs down the road.

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48 Responses to “Patriots wrap up bye with shutout of Dolphins”
  1. tdrundmc says: Dec 30, 2012 7:36 PM

    Bill Belicheat

  2. pinion8ted says: Dec 30, 2012 7:37 PM

    The defense was looking very good, in time for the playoffs.

  3. blazertop says: Dec 30, 2012 7:42 PM

    Houston football = choke city

  4. drexelvol says: Dec 30, 2012 7:48 PM

    Why is it that the NFL always gives the patroits home field advantage over the Dolphins in December. Not that it would have mattered that much, but they ALWAYS get to play in Miami in September and home in December.

    Switch it up a bit.

  5. orthomarine says: Dec 30, 2012 7:50 PM

    Head in hand game for Dolphin fans

  6. gallyhatch says: Dec 30, 2012 7:50 PM

    tdrundmc, you are hysterical! Keep on hating, the Patriots keep on contending every year.

    Unless you’re a Giant or Steelers fan, you would trade places with this Pat’s fan in a heartbeat.

  7. bucslose says: Dec 30, 2012 7:52 PM

    I dont have a favorite team in the playoffs. So I must go to my default. For the AFC, any team against the Pats and Denver. Ive always liked Manning.

    NFC, hard to say. No team is really scary on both sides of the ball. So Ill go with the Seahawks. Love their defense and itd be a great story to see them get to the Super Bowl.

    Frankly, Ive had enough of the Pats. I respect Bellichick in how he is a great coach and just about always has his team ready and they play consistently well. Even without Brady, whom many give him more credit than Bellichick, they went 11-5. Though I must say, I dont like his attitude and especially how he acted after losing the first Super Bowl against the Giants.

    I really dont want another Super Bowl with that Pats in it. Two new teams would be great.

  8. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Dec 30, 2012 7:52 PM

    Here’s a New Year’s toast to a Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning AFC championship game.

  9. gallyhatch says: Dec 30, 2012 7:52 PM

    “Giants”

  10. taintedsaints2009 says: Dec 30, 2012 7:53 PM

    9 yards.

  11. tedmurph says: Dec 30, 2012 7:56 PM

    @drexelvol:
    It’s a huge advantage for Mia to play at home in Sept due to the heat. It evens out.

  12. ranesmith says: Dec 30, 2012 7:56 PM

    Lets go pats defense is playing good.we got a good running game now so let’s get that 4th ring.

  13. pastabelly says: Dec 30, 2012 7:57 PM

    The most important thing in the game today was Gronk coming back. They are a different team with him on the field. Talib needs to get healthy now.

  14. geniusfan says: Dec 30, 2012 8:02 PM

    ‘“Giants”

    Aren’t in the playoffs.

  15. alskdh says: Dec 30, 2012 8:06 PM

    It really kills me. The Patriots really let Tom down a few weeks ago.
    With the magnificent comeback and the kickoff return they allowed to prevent Brady from completing one of the best comebacks ever on prime time TV.
    It all but ruined his chances at MVP. While manning and Brady’s numbers are similar, brady needed this comeback to solidify himself.
    Unfortunately now everyone will jump on manning.

    But let’s also not forget that in 08 when manning won his MVP, Tom was out that year with the best team in nfl history from the previous year and the leagues easiest schedule.
    So while manning gets crowned for the 5th time, Tom will be back to the dance for a 6th

  16. drexelvol says: Dec 30, 2012 8:09 PM

    @tedmurph – Not even close. It’s still pretty hot in NE in September but it’s a far sight colder in NE in December.

  17. tothefellowshipofthemiserable says: Dec 30, 2012 8:13 PM

    Bill Belicheat ? If that’s all you got, take the rest of the night off!!

  18. kash71 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:18 PM

    Bronco fan here, after seeing Manning with the Broncos this season, I can truly appreciate what the Pats have in Brady.

  19. jrebar88 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:18 PM

    Yawn. Cant wait for them to get beat in Denver.

  20. nicepak381 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:25 PM

    The Patriots are beginning to get healthy and now have a week to rest. That spells trouble for everyone in the AFC. Either New England or Denver will win the SB this year.

  21. bcfalcon says: Dec 30, 2012 8:25 PM

    As a patriot fan, I would like to say that I love that every is already placing the patriots @ Denver for the AFC championship game. There’s still a lot of football left and anything can happen in the playoffs people.

  22. tommynatorii says: Dec 30, 2012 8:27 PM

    Fireland

  23. aljack88 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:29 PM

    drexelvol says:
    Dec 30, 2012 8:09 PM
    @tedmurph – Not even close. It’s still pretty hot in NE in September but it’s a far sight colder in NE in December.
    ———————————————————
    The Sept heat in NE does not compare to the heat and humidity of Miami — ever –

  24. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:32 PM

    LOL @ all Patriots haters

  25. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:36 PM

    “Giants”

    When is their first playoff game?

  26. chrisjohnston10 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:39 PM

    The Pats played in Miami in December this year.

  27. gallyhatch says: Dec 30, 2012 8:39 PM

    The “Giants” comment was to correct my earlier comment in which I referred to “Giant Fans”

  28. bospat says: Dec 30, 2012 8:47 PM

    Yawnboy…Remember Peyton likes to choke in the 1st game!

  29. aljack88 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:49 PM

    rhodeislandpatriotsfan says:
    Dec 30, 2012 7:52 PM
    Here’s a New Year’s toast to a Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning AFC championship game.
    ——————————————————-
    I hope they do meet again. After a great game earlier this year, I was wondering if that was the last time these two would meet.
    Two future HOF QBs in the playoffs – priceless.

  30. brentsingleton1978 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:50 PM

    Why don’t the Pats pull the starters in the 4th qtr when the score is 28-0

  31. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:52 PM

    The “Giants” comment was to correct my earlier comment in which I referred to “Giant Fans”

    Ok. My bad.

  32. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:53 PM

    “Why don’t the Pats pull the starters in the 4th qtr when the score is 28-0″

    I take it you missed the 49ers-Pats game a couple weeks ago.

    That’s why.

  33. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:55 PM

    “Though I must say, I dont like his attitude and especially how he acted after losing the first Super Bowl against the Giants. ”

    How who acted?

  34. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:58 PM

    Houston over Cincy
    Colts shock Ravens

    Texans @ NE
    And Andrew Luck vs Peyton Manning

    Wow!

  35. patsfan13 says: Dec 30, 2012 9:09 PM

    Great game for the defense. Backfield covering tight to give linemen etc time to pressure the QB.

  36. beauregard says: Dec 30, 2012 9:11 PM

    From a Broncos fan:
    Congrats to the Pats on securing the 2nd seed.
    It no doubt will be Peyton v. Brady in an epic AFC Championship game. The two teams are so close it could certainly go either way, but the winner will win it all.
    Manning v. Brady in a huge game. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  37. brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 9:13 PM

    “Manning v. Brady in a huge game. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

    Yup. The way it should be.

  38. capesquad says: Dec 30, 2012 9:17 PM

    bucslose said:

    I dont like his attitude and especially how he acted after losing the first Super Bowl against the Giants.

    Brady was 16-0 that season, he was a fluke catch away from a perfect season and his 4th ring. You got a problem with him being disappointed? I don’t recall him doing or saying anything unsportsmanlike.

  39. spotlightranger says: Dec 30, 2012 9:17 PM

    drexelvol says:
    Dec 30, 2012 7:48 PM
    “Why is it that the NFL always gives the patroits home field advantage over the Dolphins in December. Not that it would have mattered that much, but they ALWAYS get to play in Miami in September and home in December.

    Switch it up a bit.”

    Except in 2009, 2008, 2006….
    Should I go on?

  40. drainbameged says: Dec 30, 2012 9:22 PM

    dolphins only had 20 offensive players on the roster…this was garbage time the whole game.

    enjoy the one and done…this is the phins division now

  41. drewsylvania says: Dec 30, 2012 9:31 PM

    The Fins need some WRs first. Also for Brady and BB to retire…

  42. bullcharger says: Dec 30, 2012 9:35 PM

    drainbameged says:Dec 30, 2012 9:22 PM

    dolphins only had 20 offensive players on the roster…this was garbage time the whole game.

    enjoy the one and done…this is the phins division now

    —————-

    That reminds me of the Aerosmith song… Dream on!

  43. randomguy9999 says: Dec 30, 2012 9:44 PM

    that was one sad year for the Phins…. terrible O line was the top item…

    huge cap room and many picks… they’ve got a shot next year maybe

  44. bigdingyguy says: Dec 30, 2012 10:34 PM

    Congrats to the Patriots for the brutality against my Fins; it was painful to watch, and New England is an outstanding team.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that your coach is a cheat, your rings are a lie and your quarterback is a backup from Michigan

  45. cannonballdookie says: Dec 30, 2012 11:15 PM

    brazzz01 says: Dec 30, 2012 8:53 PM

    “Why don’t the Pats pull the starters in the 4th qtr when the score is 28-0″

    I take it you missed the 49ers-Pats game a couple weeks ago.

    That’s why.
    ———————————————–
    Yeah, the Dolphins high powered offense really compares to the Pats, they were so close to breaking out and getting the comeback.

    Also it’s not like New England was already in the playoffs or anything.

  46. g35phin says: Dec 30, 2012 11:34 PM

    The Pats might have won today and are headed for playoff but next year, were sweeping you,

    Oh who am I kidding :( (starts crying)

  47. CKL says: Dec 31, 2012 1:45 PM

    @cannonball,
    The Pats played poorly last week. I was glad they kept their foot on the gas. And on their last clock killing drive, TB was handing off and that was all. People need to get over the “little league everyone gets a trophy” thing when it comes to PROFESSIONAL sports.

    The Fins do have a pretty good defense as usual. First in the whole NFL in the red zone. As a Pats fan, I’d love to have that on D. They need a few playmakers on O and they could be pretty good. They were missing Pats killer Bess yesterday too.

  48. brazzz01 says: Dec 31, 2012 8:30 PM

    Pats haters really are little wussies aren’t they.

    LOL

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