Posted November 29, 2012 on AP on Fox
The New England Patriots routinely dominate the AFC East, and this season is proving to be no different. After their latest division victory turned into a laugher, the Patriots look to clinch their ninth East title in 10 seasons by beating the Miami Dolphins for a fifth consecutive time Sunday. New England (8-3) is 28-6 in divisional play over the past six seasons, winning eight in a row since a loss at Buffalo in Week 3 of 2011. The most lopsided victory in that recent stretch came on Thanksgiving with a 49-19 road rout of the New York Jets. The Patriots broke the game open by tying a franchise record with 35 points in the second quarter, including three touchdowns in a span of 52 seconds en route to their fifth win in a row. Making it six straight would mean a fourth straight division title. "That's huge," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "We're really thankful as a team to be where we are right now, to have a chance to be in position to play for something else. But we realize that eight wins doesn't get us anything. That'll get us a ticket home at the end of the season." That's not likely since with the Patriots have the NFL's best offense, averaging 435.8 yards and 37.0 points. They also play three of their remaining five games against teams with losing records - two against the Dolphins and another against Jacksonville. New England has been practically unstoppable during its winning streak, averaging 43.8 points with six of its staggering 28 touchdowns coming via the defense and special teams. Tom Brady has been superb in that stretch, completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 1,454 yards with 14 touchdowns and no interceptions while compiling a 116.3 passer rating. He tossed three of those TDs last week, adding another on a 1-yard plunge. "I think we've done some things well in the last couple of games," coach Bill Belichick said. "I don't think that really has any bearing on this game; different team, different matchups, different schemes. It's all different." One area that's mattered all season is turnovers. The Patriots' offense has turned the ball over a league-low eight times, while the 32 created by the defense ranks only behind Chicago's 33. New England has forced 16 turnovers while giving it away twice during its winning streak. "It's important to an offensive football team not turning the ball over," Brady said. "Whether that's myself throwing it or whether the back's carrying it or the receiver's carrying it. I think it all goes together. It's the whole offensive system. Every time we talk about what we want to do each week, it starts with 'no turnovers.'" That's been the case during the Patriots' four-game winning streak against the Dolphins (5-6), as they're plus-7 in the turnover department. Brady has keyed that run by connecting on 65.7 percent of his passes for 1,173 yards with eight TDs and one INT. The Dolphins are trying to return to .500 by building on last weekend's 24-21 win over Seattle. Rookie Ryan Tannehill brought Miami back in the fourth quarter by throwing a touchdown to Charles Clay with 5:13 left before Dan Carpenter hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired. Despite the dramatics, Tannehill has two touchdowns compared to six interceptions over the past three games. He's aware those mistakes will need to stop if Miami is to compete with New England. "They're an opportunistic defense," Tannehill said. "The focus this week - as it is every week - is to not have turnovers. In order for us to win that battle, we can't turn it over." Tannehill should be helped by a rejuvenated running game that totaled 189 yards last week as Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas reached the end zone. Miami hadn't managed a 100-yard game since gaining 185 in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Jets in Week 3. The Dolphins are also trying to continue improving their run defense, which held the Seahawks to 96 yards after surrendering an average of 132.2 yards over the previous five games. "It's important for us to be a good running football team, and a good defend-the-run team," coach Joe Philbin said. Miami may find some success running the ball this week since the Patriots' Jermaine Cunningham will serve the first of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. While New England has the division title in its sights, the Dolphins are only a game behind Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the AFC's final playoff berth. "Every game is a playoff game from now on out," Miami linebacker Kevin Burnett said. "Now is the time."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

"The Patriots had this game in hand not only because of their passing game, but because of a hidden..."

“The Patriots had this game in hand not only because of their passing game, but because of a...

Report: Donte Stallworth Works Out for Patriots, But Doesn’t Get Contract Offer

After cutting Deion Branch, signing Greg Salas, cutting Salas and losing Julian Edelman to a concussion, the Patriots are suddenly shallow at wide receiver. That would explain why the team brought Donte Stallworth in for a workout on Tuesday, according to Mike Girardi of Comcast Sports Net. The team did not offer him a contract. That visit came one day after bringing the team...

Patriots Tweets Of Interest: Aaron Hernandez Is Back On Twitter & Sebastian Vollmer Tweets Zoltan Mesko In German

In this social media age, NEWS and ODDITIES are all around you and at your fingertips. With a tap of your smartphone, you can find out what your favorite athlete or celeb is doing and thinking. Some things make you SCRATCH your head or say HMM. The members of the New England Patriots are no different, they are quite in tune with the Twitter Machine. In this edition: Aaron Hernandez...

playactioncustoms: John Hannah New England Patriots Custom...

playactioncustoms: John Hannah New England Patriots Custom Mcfarlane www.playactioncustoms.com

AFC East draft primer: Patriots - AFC East Blog - ESPN

AFC East draft primer: Patriots - AFC East Blog - ESPN: The Patriots will be drafting toward the...

Patriots slowly getting healthier on offensive line

Remember that Logan Mankins guy? The pro bowl left guard? The guy that's been very limited due to injuries so far this year?Yeah, he's still not coming back this week.However, some other notable Patriots returned to the practice field.CSNNE:Both tackle Sebastian Vollmer and guard Dan Connolly were back on the grass practice field at Gillette Stadium during the media portion...

Fantasy Forecast: Week 13

QB Tom Brady The Dolphins have been awful against the pass this year, and white-hot Brady has torched this team for 8 TDs and just one pick in his last three trips to Miami. Look for him to put up around 300+ yards and 2-3 scores this time around. WRs Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman The Dolphins’ respectable run defense means that the Pats will probably be...

Danny Amendola, Davone Bess Could Be Solid Options to Explore If Patriots Part Ways With Wes Welker (Video)

Wes Welker has had a successful run in a Patriots uniform, but it’s no guarantee that he’ll be back in New England next season. In fact, The Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard thinks this will be Welker’s final campaign in a Pats uniform. The team placed the franchise tag on the wide receiver prior to the season, and the two sides might not be able to work out a new deal after this...

Patriots’ Teammates Making Aqib Talib Feel Right at Home in New England, But He’s Excited to Play in Warm Weather Again

FOXBORO, Mass. — Aqib Talib has only been in New England for going on three weeks now, but he’s already feeling right at home. In his first action with the Patriots, Talib showed off the playmaking skills that made him an attractive asset at the trade deadline, returning an interception for a touchdown and sparking a 59-24 rout of the Colts in front of the home crowd. The reaction...

Tom Brady, Patriots Prepare for Sunshine State Showdown Against Dolphins, Life Without Chandler Jones

The Patriots have finally come down off their Thanksgiving feast at the Meadowlands and are ready to bite into some more division rivals. This time it would appear sushi is on the menu. A trip to the bright and sunny skies down in Miami seems like it would be a welcome travel destination for Tom Brady and company, but a quick look at their record over the past decade in the sunshine...

Patrick Chung Happy to See Steve Gregory, Devin McCourty Succeed, Ready to Contribute for Patriots Even If in Reduced Role

FOXBORO, Mass.  — The Patriots secondary has looked much improved over the past few weeks. And while the play of Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty is receiving plenty of attention, Patrick Chung’s star isn’t shining quite as bright as it once did. Chung, who missed four games with a shoulder injury earlier in the season, returned to the field against the Jets on Thursday night...

Jerod Mayo Refuses to Pay Attention to Pro Bowl Voting, Would Rather Play Xbox Instead

FOXBORO, Mass. — With weather in New England creeping down into the 20′s as winter slowly begins to settle in, a trip to warm and sunny Hawaii would be a welcome change for some. But not for Jerod Mayo, not yet at least. Mayo, who is arguably in the middle of his best season as a pro, is currently atop the Pro Bowl voting for AFC middle linebackers and will likely be named to...

Tom Brady offers personal passing lessons in auction

CharityBuzz.com:Perfect for the aspiring football fanatic in your life, this package includes the once in a lifetime opportunity to have a private clinic for 2 people with Patriots living legend Tom Brady! Have Tom teach you the finer points of being QB that made him one of the best quarterbacks of all time! Bid now for an afternoon you will never forget.Tom is often discussed as...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.