Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez combined for 20 catches and 200 yards receiving, and Stevan Ridley ran for a touchdown, as the Patriots beat the Dolphins, 23-16, Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. The win clinches New England's fourth straight AFC East title and their 10th in 12 seasons and their 12th straight winning season.
By virtue of winning the division, the Patriots assure themselves of at least one home game in the playoffs. Tom Brady was sacked four times but still finished 24-of-40 for 238 yards while Ridley ran it 19 times for 71 yards and went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season. Welker finished with 12 catches on 18 targets and 103 yards, his 28th career 100-yard receiving game and his 16th with at least 10 catches. Hernandez added eight grabs on 13 targets and 97 yards.
Trevor Scott, filling in for the suspended Jermaine Cunningham, had a key strip-sack in the first half and finished with two sacks on the day.
The Patriots took immediate advantage of Miami's first big mistake of the day, a botched punt snap after a three-and-out. Five plays after Matthew Slater tackled punter Brandon Fields at the Miami 12, Ridley bounced off the left side of the offensive line and ran it in for a two-yard touchdown.
Brady had his streak of passes attempted without an interception snapped at 202 when Reshad Jones picked off a pass intended for Aaron Hernandez on the right sideline. The Patriots managed to hold the Dolphins to a 44-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter, cutting New England's lead to 7-3 late in the first quarter.
Welker dominated the first half offensively for the Patriots, catching nine passes on 12 targets for 82 yards and a 7-yard TD on a slip screen that made it 14-3 in the second quarter. He also went over 1,000 yards receiving this season in the first half, his fourth straight season of reaching the milestone.
After a Scott strip sack and Vince Wilfork fumble recovery, the Patriots added to their lead on a 43-yard field goal from a struggling Stephen Gostkowski, who missed from 49 yards early in the game. That miss was his fourth in five attempts before connecting in the second quarter.
The Dolphins gained some valuable momentum before halftime when Ryan Tannehill orchestrated a 12-play, 80-yard drive, consuming more than six minutes. Tannehill capped it with a spectacular leaping dive into the end zone on the bootleg from two yards out with 25 seconds left before the half.
Brady was 15-of-26 in the first half but the Patriots ran the ball only seven times for 11 yards.
The Patriots appeared on the verge of a two-touchdown advantage when Brady hooked up with Hernandez for a 31-yard pass down to the Dolphins' 4. A facemask call put the ball at the 2. But Tom Brady was sacked twice and Welker dropped a routine pass in the end zone, as the Patriots settled for a 32-yard field goal by Gostkowski and a 20-10 lead with just over 13 minutes left.
The Dolphins responded with a drive that got inside the Patriots red zone on a fourth-and-1 conversion. But a delayed blitz by Jerod Mayo on third down forced the Dolphins to settle for a 33-yard Carpenter field goal with 8:33 left, cutting the lead to 20-13.
The Patriots sealed the game with a 16-play drive that took over seven minutes, concluding with a 21-yard Gostkowski field goal.
The 9-3 Patriots are off until Dec. 10, when they host the AFC-leading Texans at Gillette Stadium on Monday Night Football. The Texans improved to 11-1 Sunday with a win at Tennessee.
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Christian recaps the Sox 2-1 loss to the Twins. Eduardo Rodriguez had a good showing tonight but couldn't get the run support needed to secure a W. Thoughts on all of that as well as your calls on Red Sox Review.
Red Sox Starting Pitcher Steven Wright joins Glenn, John Tomase, and Tom Caron to discuss pitching the knuckler in adverse conditions, his journey through MLB, and his All-Star experience.
The final hour of RSR features your calls as well as some thoughts on Clay Buchholz and Fenway Park.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Former rock jock Gary Tanguay channels his radio past to attempt to "hit the post" of several classic soft rock favorites as Minihane eggs him on.
Somewhat reluctantly, Kirk and Gary take calls on who would start a one-game playoff for the Red Sox right now between Steven Wright, Rick Porcello and David Price
The 8am hour stays off the rails with Kirk and Gary discussing Ken the producer's sex life and how attractive women find them
Acronyms abound, as Glenn, John Tomase, and Tom Caron discuss the MLB Hall of Fame, and PED's. Also, is David Ortiz a Hall of Famer?
Glenn, John Tomase, and Tom Caron discuss Clay Buchholz' current state of limbo.
With less than a week before camp opens up, we discuss some Patriots on a day that just feels like NFL training camp weather.
We talk Sox on a hot summer Friday, and how John Farrell is in a no-win situation with some fans despite the team's performance.
In honor of the passing of coach Dennis Green, we present four of the best NFL Coaching rants (during press conferences) of all time.
Kirk Minihane is joined by Boston comedy legend Lenny Clarke. If you are a fan of stand up comedy this is the podcast for you. Kirk and Lenny talk about Carlin, Pryor, Williams, Murphy and many more.
Kirk Minihane is joined by former ESPN ombudsman and New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte. Kirk and Robert discuss the current state of ESPN and how Robert feels he did in his role as ombudsman. They both criticize ESPN for the lack of journalism at ESPN and look at some of the curious decisions the world wide leader has made in the past few years.
Kirk Minihane is joined by Lenny Dykstra to talk about his book, his life pleasing older women, and Lenny tries to avoid his past issues with money. This is one explosive episode.
Uncle Buck breaks down the WWE Draft and the new rosters for Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live.
This week we look back at the Open Championship.
Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back right on time for the start of the NFL and Fantasy Football pre-draft season. Topics of the day include some news around the league centering on the suspension of Le’Veon Bell, bad news swirling around Ezekiel Elliot and the passing of Coach Dennis Green. Then it’s into the fun stuff featuring conversation about the Patriots Offense with the additions of Martellus Bennett and Chris Hogan and a first look at the Top 12 Wide Receivers heading into Training Camp. It’s time to gear up for Fantasy Football people, giddy up!
Donald Trump's wife Melania was caught lifting parts of Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the opening night of the Republican National Convention. Kirk, Gerry and Mike Mutnansky react.More from this show
Dale, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss the DH, and how it's time to have one system for both MLB leagues.More from this show
The guys discuss the Red Sox, who have pulled within a half-game of the first-place Orioles after a 4-0 shutout of the Giants at Fenway behind another Ortiz homer and a Porcello win.More from this show
Kirk Minihane is back in the 'Headlines' chair and reacts to the news that FoxNews CEO Roger Ailes appears done due to sexual harassment charges.More from this show