Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/31/12
Sunday's game in Foxborough went just about the way everyone expected, as the New England Patriots shut out the Miami Dolphins 28-0 to put an exclamation point on an interesting season.The game started a little slow, with the Patriots driving twice but putting no points on the board, while the Dolphins stalled on their first two sets of downs.But Tom Brady wasn't about to allow a repeat of recent weeks develop. He calmly and efficiently drove them for their first touchdown of the game, and never looked back.The Dolphins, on the other hand, looked like a team being led by a rookie quarterback, and the pressure was just too much. Any fear of Reggie Bush having a big day were quickly squelched by tough defensive play up front, leaving Tannehill vulnerable to a relentless pass rush.The result: a seven-sack assault by the Patriots (three of those for Justin Francis), an interception and a fumble recovery, and ZERO points allowed.Clearly, the Patriots got everything they wanted from all aspects of the game. Bill Belichick will, of course, say that there are still things they can do better... but Pats fans have gotten used to his ways.The biggest result of the weekend was the gift of an opening for the No. 2 seed and a ticket to the bye week, which they stamped, courtesy of Indianapolis. Thanks guys, but don't expect a gift in return.As for the season, let's call it a tale of two seasons. A shaky six game start resulted in the Patriots stuck in a four-way log-jam for nowhere within the division. But they were righting the ship, and rattled off a series of impressive wins, including a clean sweep of the AFC East, and tainted only by a gut-wrenching loss in the last minute to San Francisco.To call the Patriots the class of the division is an understatement, total domination is more like it. We all know what's brewing in New York, and yet it looks like Rex Ryan will actually keep his job for now!Buffalo is head coach hunting, coming off the biggest free-agency splash from last off-season (or was it the biggest disappointment). Perhaps if they can figure out how to maximize their potent runners they will stand a chance to improve next year.Miami has the most positive and promising outlook going into 2013. They need to concentrate on developing Tannehill's confidence and start building the team around his talents.For the Patriots, it's time to dig in and prepare for the fight of their lives; I won't sugar-coat it: they are facing some tough competition and need to keep the pedal to the medal. But for now, enjoy the Holiday and see you in the playoffs.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George extremely critical of Pacers following trade deadline

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker