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12/30/2012 - 9:06pm
Gronkowski: 'It was a blast being back'

FOXBORO -- After playing in 24 snaps of the Patriots' 71 offensive plays Sunday, tight end Rob Gronkowski said his left forearm held up well in the Pats' 28-0 win over the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

Gronkowski hadn't played since breaking the forearm in the Patriots' Nov. 18 win over the Colts.

"I was out there, having a good time with my teammates," he said. "It was a blast being back out on the field. It was up to the coaches and training staff how much I was going to play. They control everything. I was just glad we got the win against a good Miami Dolphins team overall. They have a good defense. I was just glad to be out there for my team."

Gronkowski made two catches for a total of 41 yards, including a fourth-quarter, 23-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to cap the scoring.

"It felt good," he said. "I haven't got hit in a while. It's been a couple of weeks -- about six weeks since I got hit...

12/30/2012 - 8:33pm
Talib: Not playing was 'a great decision'

FOXBORO -- Aqib Talib warmed up prior to the Patriots' 28-0 win over the Dolphins on Sunday, but wasn't given the go-ahead by coach Bill Belichick to see action during the regular-season finale.

Talib is recovering from a hip injury suffered in the Patriots' win over Houston on Dec. 10, having participated in just eight snaps during the Pats' previous game, against Jacksonville.

"He just saw how warmups went and coach made the decision," Talib said. "It was a great decision. We went out and got a big win. It was a great decision he made."

The Patriots weren't only without Talib, but their other starting cornerback, Alfonzo Dennard, as well due to the rookie's hamstring and knee injuries. Starting in their places were Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty, who moved over from safety.

The Patriots defensive backs not only held Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill to 235 yards passing, but they also contributed in aiding in...

12/30/2012 - 7:21pm
Hello, good bye: Pats win, clinch week off

FOXBORO -- Stevan Ridley ran for a pair of touchdowns and Tom Brady threw for two more Sunday as the Patriots took advantage of a Houston loss earlier in the day and clinched a first-round bye with a 28-0 win over the Dolphins at a frigid Gillette Stadium. Brady was 22-of-36 for 284 yards, including 23-yard touchdown strike to Rob Gronkowski. The tight end had two catches for 42 yards on four targets in his return from a broken left forearm. The Patriots defense was a force on the day, racking up a season-high seven sacks, including three from rookie Justin Francis.

The Patriots began the game with the knowledge that the Colts beat the Texans, 28-16, in Indianapolis, and that a win in the 12-degree wind chill would give them the week off. The Patriots recorded their first shutout since Oct. 18, 2009, when they blanked Tennessee, 59-0. 

Given the motivation of a first-round bye and break next weekend, the Patriots raced out to a 21-0 halftime...

12/30/2012 - 5:33pm
Ninkovich leaves with hip injury

FOXBORO -- In what could be a significant loss to the Patriots defense, linebacker and pass-rushing specialist Rob Ninkovich left Sunday's game against the Dolphins with a hip injury. The team announced his return was questionable. 

Patriots medical staff were called onto the field by players with just under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter as Ninkovich laid on his back. Staff looked at his left knee before helping him to his feet. Ninkovich had to be helped off the field by two medical staffers, including team doctor Tom Gill. He immediately went to the locker room for treatment and an exam. 

Ninkovich has five forced fumbles, including the game-clinching strip sack of Mark Sanchez in overtime against the Jets on Oct. 21. Ninkovich leads the team with eight sacks and has 11 quarterback hits. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots.


12/30/2012 - 4:00pm
Stage set: Colts beat Texans, help Pats

Deji Karim's 101-yard kickoff return after a Houston field goal gave the Colts the lead for good and Indianapolis held on to beat the Texans, 28-16, Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, leaving the door wide open for the Patriots to clinch a first-round bye with a win over Miami. 

All the Patriots need to do is beat the Dolphins in their season finale at Gillette Stadium and they will clinch at least a No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, which begin next week. If the Patriots win and the Broncos lose at home to Kansas City, they will clinch the No. 1 overall seed and home field throughout the playoffs for a second straight season. 

The Colts were trailing 16-14 on a Shayne Graham field goal when Karim raced right up the middle nearly untouched for a touchdown that changed the momentum of the game for good. The Colts all but sealed the win later with a 70-yard TD connection from Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton on third-and-23, putting Indianapolis up, 28-...

Audio On Demand

NFL SUNDAY...the final se…

NFL SUNDAY...the final segment of the year -- 2-5-17

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