The Dolphins dreams for an AFC East title are officially over, and their hopes for the postseason are quickly fading away as well.
Tom Brady and the Patriots torched the Dolphins, as they won the AFC East Title Sunday with a 41-13 victory that puts the Dolphins at 7-7, and they may have just played themselves out of the postseason.
Brady threw two touchdown passes scoring on four series’ in the third quarter to put up 24 points, a team record for that quarter as they put the game away.
New England (11-3) can secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs by beating the Jets and Bills in their remaining games.
The Dolphins cut the lead to 14-13 on Ryan Tannehill‘s 32-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace with five seconds left in the first half, a play on which the on-field call that Wallace landed out of bounds was overturned.
Then the Patriots put the game out of reach with a huge 15 minutes.
On the first play of the second half, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a 34-yard gain down the middle, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount.
That came one play after Brady, hardly known for his running, scrambled 17 yards for a first down — the third longest run of his career.
The Patriots kept rolling with 10 points in 13 seconds.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 35-yard field goal, giving him a team record 1,160 points, two more than Adam Vinatieri. After Patrick Chung intercepted Tannehill’s pass, Brady connected with Gronkowski for a 27-yard touchdown with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
Just over three minutes later, New England boosted the lead to 38-13 on Brady’s 6-yard pass to Julian Edelman. Gostkowski made it five straight scoring possessions with a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots evened the season series that began with the Dolphins’ 33-20 win on Sept. 7, snapping New England’s streak of 10 season-opening victories.
The Patriots won the AFC East for the 11th time in 12 years. They only fell short in 2008, when Miami won the division after Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.