User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Patriots blank Dolphins, clinch No. 2 seed

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - So much for the Patriots' problems.

Advertisement
Rebounding from a rare slump, Tom Brady and his teammates earned a playoff bye with a 28-0 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday after two mediocre performances.

Stevan Ridley ran for two touchdowns as New England used a ball-control offense and a defense that racked up a season-high seven sacks.

Now, seeded second in the AFC, the Patriots have an extra week to savor the win and prepare for their postseason opener.

The Patriots (12-4) led 21-0 at halftime on Brady's 9-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker and Ridley's runs of 1 and 2 yards, capping drives lasting 14 and 13 plays. They ended the scoring on Brady's 23-yard scoring pass to Rob Gronkowski, who missed the previous five games after breaking his left forearm.

The Dolphins (7-9) finished with a losing record for the fourth straight season.

The victory came after the AFC East champion Patriots started poorly in their previous two games, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 41-34 before beating the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16.

And after each touchdown, fans tossed into the air some of the snow that was left over from an overnight accumulation of about 6 inches.

The Patriots began the day seeded third, but gained one of the AFC's two byes when they won after the AFC South champion Houston Texans lost and fell from first to third in the conference standings.

New England had trailed San Francisco 31-3 and Jacksonville 10-0 and sputtered at the start again on Sunday, turning the ball over on downs on its first possession and punting on its second.

Then it got a break and rolled the rest of the half.

Under heavy pressure, rookie Ryan Tannehill's pass was intercepted by Steve Gregory, who returned it 13 yards to the Miami 28. Gronkowski gained 19 yards on the first pass thrown to him. On the second play of the series, Brady connected with Welker over the middle for a milestone completion.

Brady moved into second place in NFL history with a touchdown pass in 48 consecutive games, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas. Drew Brees extended his league record to 55 earlier Sunday. And Brady became the first player to throw at least one scoring pass in all 16 games for three straight seasons.

New England's top-rated offense got plenty of help from an improving defense.

Rookie Justin Francis had three sacks. Another rookie, Dont'a Hightower, recovered a fumble at the Patriots 1 on a botched handoff from Tannehill to Reggie Bush. On the ensuing drive, a pass to Welker popped loose and Miami's Chris Clemons came up with the ball and ran about 60 yards for what officials ruled a touchdown. But the call was reversed and the play was ruled an incomplete pass upon video review.

Just another play that went New England's way.

There were plenty in the first half when the Patriots had advantages of 279-106 in yards, 18-7 in first downs and 18:35 to 11:25 in time of possession.

Brady finished with 22 completions in 36 attempts for 284 yards. Tannehill was 20 for 35 for 235.

The shutout was the first for the Patriots since they routed the Tennessee Titans 59-0 on Oct. 18, 2009. The Dolphins were blanked for the first time since losing 16-0 to the Chicago Bears on Nov. 18, 2010.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Lawrence: Trends to Watch - September
Lawrence: 2014 NFC Season Preview
Marshall: Ravens rising up
Lawrence: 2014 AFC Season Preview
ASA: NFC North Notebook
ASA: NFC South Notebook
Marshall: Philadelphia Hype
Rogers: AFC North Preview
Bucs acquire G Mankins from Patriots
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
6-1 L7 Guarantees, 68% +996 TY
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 10-4 L14 Picks
6-0 L6 Guaranteed Plays
3-1 L4 Picks, 5-1 G-Plays TY
5-1 Preseason Record
7-2 L9, 10-4 This Year
Perfect 3-0 Record Saturday
5-2 Last 7 Selections
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks-
2014 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 996
Bruce Marshall + 640
James Manos + 550
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Hank Goldberg + 290
Scott Pritchard + 200
James Manos + 190
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Marc Lawrence 83 %
James Manos 71 %
Scott Pritchard 70 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 551
Scott Pritchard + 490
The Gold Sheet + 390
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 673
Hank Goldberg + 300
ASA + 200
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 270
ASA + 200
Joe Williams + 200
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!