video: Patriots Clinch #1 Seed in the AFC, Beat Dolphins 35-14
Monday, January 02, 2017
The win gives the Patriots a 14-2 record overall, including an undefeated record on the road.
"14-2 is a good place to be. It's pretty sweet to come here and win. It's been a tough place for us to play and that's an excited locker room. To finish eight wins in a row too, with our wins, those are fun flights home and bus rides. It's been good," said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the game.
The Dolphins will enter the playoffs as the sixth seed and will play at Pittsburgh next week.
Patriots Hold on
Trailing by 13, the Dolphins drove to the Patriots nine-yard line before a Matt Moore pass to Damien Williams was knocked free by Devin McCourty and recovered by Shea McClellin who returned it 69 yards to the Dolphins 18 yard line before being tackled. The return is the longest return in Patriots history.
On thePatriots ensuing possession, Brady handed the ball to LeGarrette Blount on the goal line and he ran up the middle untouched for his 18th touchdown of the season. Brady hit Julian Edelman for a two-point conversion to give the Patriots a 35-14 lead and the win.
Prior to that, the Patriots saw their 20 point lead cut to six in the third quarter after Moore found Kenny Stills in the endzone to cap off a stretch in which the Dolphins scored 14 straight points.
On the Patriots next possession, Brady found Edelman, who turned a short pass into a 77-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots back in control, up 27-14 after a Stephen Gostkowski extra point was good. The run was sparked by a big block by Michael Floyd.
Patriots Roll Early On
The Patriots offense wasted no time grabbing control of the game.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Brady led the Patriots on a 13 play drive concluding with a touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone to put the Patriots up 7-0 after a Gostkowski extra point.
On the Patriots next offensive possession, Blount ran the ball three times for 31 yards to get the Patriots to the Dolphins 14-yard line.
On first and 10, Brady hit Michael Floyd over the middle and while Floyd was hit immediately he fought his way to the end zone, just getting the ball over the goal line. New England went up 14-0 after a Gostkowski extra point was good.
The touchdown was his first as a member of the Patriots.
That a boy Mike, eat out there lil bro!!— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) January 1, 2017
New England would add two field goals to take a 20-0 lead before the Dolphins would get on the board just before the half.
Brady completed 25 of 33 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Finishing the regular season with 28 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Brady's 28:2 TD-INT ratio is the best in NFL history. Patriots only threw 2 INTs all year as a team setting a new NFL record. Previous was 5— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) January 1, 2017
Edelman hauled in eight catches for a career-high 151 yards and a touchdown. He also went over 1,000 yards receiving for the second season in a row.
The Patriots will play their first playoff game on Saturday, January 14 at 8:15 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. They can either play Miami, Oakland or Houston.
Related Slideshow: 16 Plays That Define the Patriots 2016 Season Regular Season - in Vines
LeGarrette Blount Leaps Over a Dolphins Player
LeGarrette Blount took a toss from rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett and proceeded to make an Olympic hurdle type leap over Dolphins' defensive back Byron Maxwell and pick up the first down
Blount ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Garoppolo Dominates Miami
In the Patriots home opener against the rival Miami Dolphins, Garoppolo was dominant, completing 18 of 27 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns, including this one to Danny Amendola.
Garoppolo would get injured just before halftime and the Patriots would hold on to win 31-24.
Hightower's big hit on Browns quarterback Cody Kessler knocked him out of the game. The next week, Hightower would sack Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety and change the momentum of that game.
So far this season, Hightower has 1.5 sacks, one safety, 14 solo tackles and one pass defensed in six games played.
Tom Brady Plays First Game Back at Gillette
Brady made his return to the Patriots in the previous game on the road against Cleveland, but his first game back at Gillette Stadium came against the Bengals.
Brady hit running back James White for his first touchdown pass of the day and New England won 35-17.
He finished the game completing 29 of 35 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
Gronkowski Injured on Hit by Seattle's Earl Thomas
Near the end of the 2nd quarter of the Patriots game against Seattle, Earl Thomas hit Rob Gronkowski square in the chest. Just two weeks later, it would be announced that Gronkowski would be out for the season.
The Patriots lost to Seattle 31-24
Brady Nearly Fumbles Against Jets, Throws Touchdown to Mitchell
Trailing 10-3 and on the Jets five-yard line, Brady fumbled the snap picked it up and found Malcolm Mitchell in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at ten following a Gostkowski extra point.
The Patriots would go on to win 22-17.
Shea McClellin Blocks Ravens Field Goal
The Ravens threatened to take the lead, 3-2, midway through the first quarter on a field goal attempt by kicker Justin Tucker, but New England's Shea McClellin jumped over the center and got the block. The Patriots offense scored a touchdown on their ensuing possession to take a 9-0 lead.
The Patriots would go on to win the game 30-23.
Blount Breaks Curtis Martin's Record for Rushing TDs in a Season
Running back LeGarrette Blount recorded his 15th rushing touchdown of the season in the Patriots win over Denver. With the score, he passed Curtis Martin for most rushing touchdowns in a season.
The Patriots beat Denver 16-3 to clinch AFC East.
McCourty's Hit on DeMaryius Thomas
On a fourth and 2, Devin McCourty put an end to Denver's come come back hopes with this hit on DeMaryius Thomas that forced him to drop the ball.
Had Thomas made the catch, the Broncos would have likely scored on the drive, making the final minutes a little more nervewracking.
Matt Lengel Catches First Touchdown Pass
Lengel came over to the Patriots from the Bengals practice squad and had never caught a touchdown pass in his career.
Already up 13-0, Tom Brady hit Lengel over the middle for an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 20-0 lead. It was Lengel's first catch, first target, and first touchdown.
The Patriots would go on to beat the Jets 41-3.
Michael Floyd's Block on Lippitt to Spring Edelman Against Miami
Michael Floyd's block on Miami's Tony Lippit to spring Julian Edelman's 77 yard touchdown is one of the greatest blocks in Patriots history.
The Patriots beat the Dolphins 35-14 to clinch the top seed in the AFC heading into the playoffs.
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