- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Patriots clinch AFC East title with 23-16 win over Dolphins
MIAMI — Two yards from a touchdown on third down, Tom Brady took the snap and fell to the turf curled around the ball, happy to settle for a field goal.
The high-scoring New England Patriots went conservative Sunday, and the approach paid off with another AFC East championship.
Brady stuck with short throws for much of the afternoon and was content to hand off during a clock-consuming drive in the fourth quarter that helped the Patriots beat Miami 23-16 to clinch their fourth consecutive division title.
“It’s not supposed to be easy, and it wasn’t easy today,” Brady said.
Dolphins mistakes proved pivotal. A botched punt, roughing-the-punter penalty and fumble by Miami resulted in 17 New England points, and another penalty negated a Dolphins touchdown.
The Patriots (9-3) wore championship caps and T-shirts afterward.
“It’s good to be back in the postseason,” coach Bill Belichick said.
The Patriots have won six consecutive games and are assured of their 12th winning season in a row.
The Dolphins (5-7) hurt their already slim playoff chances and lost to New England for the fifth consecutive time.
“Too many mistakes,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “To beat a good opponent in December, you have to play better.”
But with New England nursing a 20-13 edge midway through the fourth quarter, he led a 16-play drive that took more than seven minutes.
After he curled up on the third-down keeper, Stephen Gostkowski kicked his third field goal to pad the lead.
“It’s always good to win,” Belichick said. “It’s not about the stats, it’s about wins.”
Brady was intercepted for the first time in 203 attempts, and for only the fourth time this season. His passer rating was a season-low 74.8, but he had at least four passes dropped, including a throw to Wes Welker in the end zone.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.