Patriots clinch AFC East title by beating Dolphins

  • By Associated Press
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MIAMI -- Tom Brady had his least efficient game of the season and even threw an interception, but the New England Patriots took advantage of the Miami Dolphins' mistakes Sunday to win 23-16 and clinch their fourth consecutive AFC East title.

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A botched punt, a roughing-the-punter penalty and a fumble by Miami led to 17 New England points, and another penalty negated a Dolphins touchdown.

Brady finished 24-of-40 passing for 238 yards and was sacked four times. But with the Patriots nursing a 20-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter, he led a 16-play drive that took more than seven minutes and led to a field goal.

The Patriots (9-3) have won six games in a row and are assured of their 12th consecutive winning season. Miami (5-7) lost to New England for the fifth consecutive time.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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