Pats knock off Dolphins, secure home-field advantage in playoffs

Jan 02, 2017, 00:36
Pats knock off Dolphins, secure home-field advantage in playoffs

The Patriots challenged Moore to march down the field with only low crossers and Miami failed to do so on a regular basis. They came out of the locker room flat, only to turn it on and make the game competitive towards the end.

New England's 14-2 record is even more impressive considering it came with Brady forced to serve a four-game suspension at the beginning of the year due to DeflateGate.

Kyle Rudolph caught 11 passes for 117 yards and a score for the Vikings (8-8), who started 5-0 before stumbling out of their bye week and never recovering.

The New England Patriots clinched home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs with their 35-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and unveiled their new offensive weapon in the process.

With no injuries suffered on the day, it was a complete success for Bill Belichick's team.

Patriots 2-point conversion gave New England a 35-14 lead. He played a almost flawless game, completing 25-of-33 passes for 276 yards and a 130.4 rating.

If the Patriots defense can continue to get turnovers and keep their opponents to field goals like they did against the Broncos and Jets, they will be in great shape to finish the season strong and secure that elusive number one seed. He has 51 games with 100 yards receiving, tied for fourth-most in National Football League history.

And Devin McCourty stifled the Dolphins' last remaining breath by forcing a Damien Williams fumble at the Pats' 7-yard line. You know, you can't just decide when you want to play. Brady has posted an average QB rating of 77.2 in his last 3 games in Miami, and has only thrown a total of 3 touchdowns in that time span. He's over 1,200 yards on the year. Ajayi managed to gain just 59 yards on 16 carries, for an average of just 3.7 yards per carry.

The offense went back to work after Trey Flowers notched a pair of tackles and a quarterback hit to force a three-and-out. It was a team effort, and the dedication was there. Brady hooked up with Michael Floyd for a 14-yard scoring strike, with Floyd dragging the Dolphins secondary the last five yards.

With Malcolm Mitchell out of action, Michael Floyd seized his moment. Floyd had another nice toe-tap catch on the right sideline late in the second quarter at the Miami 17.

Julian Edelman was Brady's primary target, catching eight passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. He had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Both Edelman and Blount picked up personal fouls for unnecessary roughness after whistles. Getting the banged up players healthy for the playoffs with undoubtedly be a focus this week.

The Dolphins say they'll go all-out, too. All four of them had limited participation in practice Friday. But the timing was costly.

Still, the turf problem failed to bottle up the Patriots' drive, as it culminated in a Martellus Bennett touchdown. And a Joe Thuney holding penalty turned a third-and-2 into a second-and-26; the Patriots would settle for a punt.

It was a game again. But you can bet they matter in the meeting rooms. Despite that, he seemed to be all over the field on Sunday.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes in what was likely his final game for NY, which ended a dismal season on a winning note over Buffalo in East Rutherford, N.J.

Overall, 14 points allowed on the road is a solid performance.

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