Sunday, December 2, 2012

Brady won't call Patriots' division-clinching win 'ugly'


A win is a win.

The New England Patriots clinched their fourth straight AFC East division title Sunday with a 23-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in a game that wasn't expected to be this close.

Quarterback Tom Brady disputes the notion that it was an "ugly" win.

"That wasn't ugly, that was a great win," Brady told reporters after the game. "We fought hard, we made some terrific plays when we had to."

The Patriots capitalized on Dolphins mistakes early on to go up 17-3 midway through the second quarter but went up against a defense that would not back down. Aside from two drives that started deep in Miami territory and another aided by a roughing the kicker penalty to keep it alive, New England's offense managed just two field goals on the Dolphins' defense.

The 321 total yards is the Patriots' lowest output on the season and it was just the third time they were held under 24 points.

"They made it tough on us, there's no question about it," Brady said. "They played really well; every single play was a challenge."

The Patriots allowed four sacks on the afternoon after giving up just 15 takedowns all season. Brady was also intercepted by Dolphins safety Reshad Jones in the first quarter. It was Brady's first pick in six games and just his fourth on the season.

Despite the unusual level of struggle on that side of the ball, the offense was able to clinch the game with a 16-play fourth quarter drive that ate 7:18 off of the clock and forced Miami to used all three of its timeouts. It also led to a field goal that put the game out of reach for good.

"We made some plays when we needed to, so it was a great win," Brady said.

The division title is New England's 10th in the past 12 seasons.

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