With a quarter of the regular season still go to, the Pats beat Miami 23-16 on Sunday, clinching their fourth consecutive AFC East title. The Patriots (9-3) improved to 5-1 in the division this year.
New England now has six consecutive victories, but their last win wasn’t spectacular. Sunday’s game was mostly due to mistakes on the Dolphins end. The Dolphins had a botched punt, a roughing-the-punter penalty and a fumble which resulted in 17 points for the Pats. They then got another penalty that lost them a touchdown. The Dolphins (5-7) simply made too many mistakes.
“Too many mistakes,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “To beat a good opponent in December, you have to play better.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick commented, “It’s always good to win. It’s not about the stats, it’s about wins.”
Though New England’s playoff berth is assured, they still trail 2 games behind Houston in the race for the No. 1 conference seed.
“This is when the best teams really start to separate themselves,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “You have to continue to get better and better and better.”
Tight end Aaron Hernandez agreed, “We have a bigger goal than this. This is a start, but we’ve got to keep going.”
Get your tickets here for the Patriots’ game against the Texans next Monday at Gillette Stadium.