Patriots vs. Dolphins live blog: New England defeats Miami, 23-16, to clinch AFC East title

Winslow Townson

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (8-3) take on the Miami Dolphins (5-6) in an AFC East battle on Sunday afternoon in Miami, Florida.

Live blog for Sunday's game between the Patriots and Dolphins in Miami, FL.

FINAL SCORE: PATRIOTS 23, DOLPHINS 16: Tom Brady and the offense put together its best put-away drive of the entire season, ending Miami's chances to complete the comeback. A 20-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski with 1:15 left on the clock made it a two-possession game and gave New England the victory. Miami would add a field goal, but it would turn out to be too little, too late. With the win, the Patriots have now secured four consecutive AFC East division titles.

FOURTH QUARTER: PATRIOTS 20, DOLPHINS 13 (8:28): The Dolphins did a great job in moving the ball right back down the field to answer the New England drive. Jerod Mayo came on a linebacker blitz to shutdown the drive on a crucial third down play, forcing Miami into a 33-yard field goal attempt from Dan Carpenter. His kick was true and the Dolphins have cut the deficit to just seven with 8:28 to play.

FOURTH QUARTER: PATRIOTS 20, DOLPHINS 10 (13:49): The good news? The Patriots were able to drive the football deep into Miami territory, taking it inside the 5-yard-line. The bad news? A pair of sacks and a Wes Welker drop would force the Patriots into a 32-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal attempt. His kick was good and New England extended their lead to 20-10.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: PATRIOTS 17, DOLPHINS 10: Good afternoon folks and welcome back from your third quarter nap. Not, not really, but that's what the last 15 minutes of play in Miami have felt like. Sloppy play from both teams led to no scoring in the entire third quarter. The Patriots have possession of the ball at the Miami 35-yard-line as we enter the fourth and final quarter of action.

HALFTIME: PATRIOTS 17, DOLPHINS 10: Dolphins' quarterback Ryan Tannehill did a remarkable job in rallying the troops for an 80-yard touchdown drive to cap off the second quarter, finishing it with a short touchdown run on a beautifully executed play-fake.

SECOND QUARTER: PATRIOTS 17, DOLPHINS 3 (6:53): After a Ryan Tannehill fumble, the Patriots have cashed in for a field goal and a three-point extension of their lead. Stephen Gostkowski's 43-yard attempt was right through the middle and the Patriots now lead the game by two touchdowns.

SECOND QUARTER: PATRIOTS 14, DOLPHINS 3 (9:21): The Patriots have jumped ahead by two possessions on South Beach. Quarterback Tom Brady found Wes Welker open on the slip screen and no. 83 walked into the endzone for a Patriots' touchdown.

END OF FIRST QUARTER: PATRIOTS 7, DOLPHINS 3: A Dan Carpenter 44-yard field goal would make the score 7-3 in the waning seconds of the game's opening quarter. The Patriots will take over with the ball on their own 24-yard line when the second quarter begins.

FIRST QUARTER: PATRIOTS 7, DOLPHINS 0 (6:45): I feel like we've been here before... Yep. Patriots' place kicker Stephen Gostkowski has missed yet another field goal attempt. From 49 yards out, he pushed it way right and cost the Patriots a chance to go ahead, 10-0. This was the sixth miss of the season for a kicker who might be on his last straw in New England.

FIRST QUARTER: PATRIOTS 7, DOLPHINS 0 (11:53): After a fumbled punt by the Miami kicker, the Patriots offense was set up in brilliant field position at the Dolphins' 12-yard-line. A holding penalty would set the Patriots back ten yards, but wouldn't be able to stop the offense. Running back Stevan Ridley capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

PREGAME INACTIVES: The inactives have been released for both sides. For the Patriots, it's guard Logan Mankins, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive end Chandler Jones, offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, tight end Visinthe Shiancoe, running back James Devlin and defensive back Derrick Martin sitting out today's game. For the Dolphins, they will be without quarterback Pat Devlin, deep safety Jonathan Amaya, linebacker Josh Kaddu, tackle Will Yeatman, tight end Michael Egnew, tight end Kyle Miller and defensive tackle Kheeston Randall.

Tom Brady and his New England Patriots ready for a fight with the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon in South Beach. Some have labeled this game as a trap for New England, but any way you look at it, the Pats will need a complete effort to win. This is the National Football League, where anything goes, after all. Can the Pats keep the likes of Davone Bess and Reggie Bush contained, and will the secondary be able to hold its ground? Similarly, will Brady be able to put up another offensive show? We never know, and that's what makes these divisional battles so interesting. SB Nation Boston will provide game updates all afternoon in our live blog, so please check back frequently. So sit back and enjoy, and as always, thank you for reading!

For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team blog, Pats Pulpit.

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