Patriots 23 - Dolphins 16
The Patriots let the Dolphins stick around for three-and-a-half quarters, but come crunch time, Tom Brady did what he does best: put the game away.
Brady engineered a 15-play scoring drive that took a huge, 7:18 chunk off of the clock and left the Dolphins with only 1:10 to overcome a 10 point deficit.
In other words, the Patriots won the game—and clinched the AFC East crown—with that drive.
Despite a mostly subpar performance from Tom Brady, the Patriots defense held the Dolphins to just 13 points and 277 yards of total offense. This should give it some confidence heading into next week's showdown with the Houston Texans.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins might not want moral victories, but they got one today. Miami hung with the New England despite a very subpar offensive performance, a botched punt, a costly fumble and eight penalties.
This loss knocks the Phins to 5-8 and puts a serious damper on any remaining playoff hopes. And, with matchups against the 49ers, Bills and Patriots looming, the playoffs may only be a pipe-dream now.