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Patriots vs. Dolphins final score: New England clinches division with 23-16 road win

On Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots secured themselves a trip to the 2012 NFL Playoffs with their fourth consecutive AFC East division title, thanks to a 23-16 win over the home-standing Miami Dolphins.

US PRESSWIRE

On Sunday afternoon, the visiting New England Patriots paid a visit to their division rival Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Fortunately for the large number of fans who made the long journey south, the Patriots were able to come away with the victory, 23-16, over the Dolphins.

The Patriots would go ahead early after a botched punt by the Dolphins. Running back Stevan Ridley would finish off a short drive with the game’s first score, putting New England ahead, 7-0. Miami would answer with a field goal, but the Patriots would add another touchdown not long after. Wide receiver Wes Welker caught slip screen pass and walked home for a score, extending the Patriots’ lead to 14-3. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski would add a field goal to make the score 17-3.

Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill would masterfully execute an 80-yard touchdown drive to conclude the first half, making it a 7-point game at the half.

A scoreless third quarter would end with the Patriots driving deep into Miami territory. They would settle for another Gostkowski field goal to take a 10-point advantage. The two teams would then trade field goals, making it a 23-13 game. With less than two minutes to play, the Dolphins would add yet another field goal, making it a 23-16 game, but were unable to recover the onside kick, ending the football game.

With the 7-point victory, the Patriots have secured their fourth consecutive AFC East division title.