INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: New England Patriots Defeat Miami Dolphins 35-14

They don't want to end the season with a loss when they face the New England Patriots on Sunday (10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, CBS, DirecTV).

The Dolphins couldn't manage to beat the Patriots in Foxboro earlier in the season when the weather was still pleasant and Tom Brady was still suspended.

The New England Patriots locked up home-field advantage by securing the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.

Bradford completed 25 of 33 passes for 250 yards with one interception, finishing with a 71.6% completion rate to set an National Football League single-season record.

During the Patriots' season finale against the Dolphins on Sunday, fans started chanting "M-V-P" at Brady while he was on the field, which is only notable because the game was being played in Miami Gardens where the Patriots are a hated division rival. "We all know this isn't an easy place to win".

Barring a Miami win over Pittsburgh, the Pats will host the victor of the 4/5 matchup between the Raiders and Texans.

One of the big stories of this game was turnovers, with Miami losing that battle 0-2 to New England.

On a second-and-nine from the New England 9-yard line, Miami quarterback Matt Moore hit running back Damien Williams with a short pass in the flat.

After a 69-yard return by Shea McClellin set up the Patriots, LeGarrette Blount put the game out of reach with a one-yard plunge. The only way to slow down this offense is to affect the timing in the pocket and make Brady feel uncomfortable.

Even after Brady hooked up with Julian Edelman for a rally-killing 77-yard catch and run touchdown, Miami again came back.

"Fourteen wins is a really good effort and I'm proud of what these guys did", Belichick said.

"I'm not going to lie to you, we wanted that". "We felt like we were constantly slept on all year, doubted all year".

"We just can't turn the ball over down there". Moore fell to 2-1 as a starter replacing the injured Ryan Tannehill and threw for 205 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

"[Floyd] just got me while I wasn't looking", Lippett said. "We worked pretty hard, like very team does, and it's good to be in this position". With New England facing a third down from their own 30-yard line, Miami would send a blitz to try and pressure number 12. Not only was Brady unstoppable, but the defense also did itself no favors with missed tackles and lack of pressure on the New England's signal-caller. We'll work on some of those this week, then we'll find out who we play, and then we'll start getting ready for whoever that team is. "You can't leave yourself in third-and-long and expect to consistently move the ball".

"It is what it is", said Ajayi of his effort.

At first glance, here are three up and three down in the wake of Sunday's 35-14 win over the Dolphins. However, they mostly played like a team that already clinched a playoff berth. Winners of seven straight, Pittsburgh will be a trendy pick to make it to Super Bowl LI, despite most likely having to go on the road twice.

  • Audrey Hill