Final, Patriots 35-14: And that will do it for the New England Patriots’ regular season. They end it on a seven-game winning streak and will enter the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 1 seed, securing home-field advantage with their latest victory.
New England will be off next weekend before hosting either the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders or Houston Texans in the divisional round.
Fourth quarter, 2:32, Patriots 35-14: Ryan Allen punted it away from the back of his own end zone, giving Miami the ball at the New England 44. — Z.C.
Fourth quarter, 4:00, Patriots 35-14: The Dolphins’ latest drive went nowhere. They punted it back to the Patriots, who will look to drain the clock up three touchdowns.
Jimmy Garoppolo is into the game at quarterback for New England. — Z.C.
Fourth quarter, 5:33, Patriots 35-14: As he has all season, Devin McCourty made another huge play to all but seal a Patriots victory.
After Miami had driven into New England’s red zone, Devin McCourty stripped the ball from Damien Williams. Shea McClellin recovered and returned it 69 yards before finally being dragged down at the Dolphins’ 18-yard line.
Six plays later, LeGarrette Blount plowed his way into the end zone to extend the Patriots’ lead. New England added a two-point conversion, with Tom Brady finding Julian Edelman.
With less than six minutes left, this game is all but over. — Z.C.
Fourth quarter, 13:57, Patriots 27-14: A holding call on Joe Thuney negated a 14-yard pass to Chris Hogan, and the Patriots eventually were forced to punt for the second time in as many drives. — Zack Cox
Third quarter, 1:32, Patriots 27-14: The Patriots’ defense forced another three-and-out. The Patriots are holding Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi to just 3.2 yards per carry.
Third quarter, 3:03, Patriots 27-14: The Patriots responded with their own three-and-out. A holding penalty on the punt return by Geneo Grissom pushed the Patriots back near their own end zone. The Dolphins have the ball on their own 41-yard line.
Third quarter, 4:23, Patriots 27-14: The Patriots forced a key three-and-out. The Dolphins, despite some success before and after halftime, have just 191 total yards on the game.
Third quarter, 6:41, Patriots 27-14: Michael Floyd sprung Julian Edelman for a 77-yard touchdown with a jarring block on Dolphins cornerback Tony Lippett.
Edelman, who needs three catches for 100 on the season, has seven catches for 142 yards with the score on the game.
Third quarter, 8:39, Patriots 20-14: Well, we have a game now.
The Dolphins went 75 plays on 12 yards for a touchdown. Matt Moore hit Kenny Stills for a 25-yard touchdown on broken coverage. Still ran past Kyle Van Noy as the Patriots linebacker began moving up in coverage.
End half, Patriots 20-7: The Patriots got within a 52-yard field goal attempt, but Stephen Gostkowski’s try was wide right.
Julian Edelman went over 1,000 yards on the season on the drive. He needs five more catches for 100 on the season.
The Patriots already have 100 rushing yards. LeGarrette Blount leads the way with eight carries for 45 yards.
Tom Brady is 19 of 24 for 161 yards with two touchdowns. Edelman has five catches for 58 yards.
Second quarter, :28, Patriots 20-7: The Dolphins are on the board. They went 75 yards on 10 plays to cut the Patriots’ lead to two scores.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry scored on an 8-yard pass from Matt Moore. He kept his balance after receiving a big hit from Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower and kept driving for the touchdown.
Second quarter, 3:21, Patriots 20-0: The Patriots not only are dominating the Dolphins, they’re also dominating time of possession. They drove down the field for a 26-yard field goal and are winning the T.O.P. battle 20:48 to 5:51. Tom Brady is 16 of 20 for 138 yards with two touchdowns. The Patriots already have 100 rushing yards.
Second quarter, 11:40, Patriots 17-0: Hey, the Dolphins picked up a first down. Then they still had to punt.
The Patriots have the ball on their 10-yard line after the punt and a holding penalty on cornerback Justin Coleman.
Second quarter, 14:56, Patriots 17-0: The Patriots made it to their 24-yard line before Tom Brady threw an incomplete pass to Julian Edelman. Edelman reacted to jawing with an attempted headbutt, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Patriots gained back 17 yards, putting Stephen Gostkowski in position to hit a 40-yard field goal.
First quarter, 2:54, Patriots 14-0: The Patriots’ offense can’t get off the field.
It took just just two plays for the Dolphins to turn the ball over this time. Jay Ajayi ran for 2 yards, then Logan Ryan picked off quarterback Matt Moore on a scramble play. That was Ryan’s second interception of the season. Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long brought pressure on the play.
Here’s Michael Floyd’s TD.
First quarter, 3:44, Patriots 14-0: The Patriots forced a three-and-out on their first defensive series of the game. Trey Flowers came out with two tackles and a quarterback hit, while the Dolphins went backward thanks to a false start.
The Patriots went 45 yards on five plays on their second drive of the game. Wide receiver Michael Floyd caught his first touchdown as a member of the Patriots. He caught the ball shy of the end zone and fought through tacklers to make it in.
Tom Brady is now 7 of 8 for 55 yards with two touchdowns.
First quarter, 7:28, Patriots 7-0: The Patriots went 75 yards on 13 plays to score a touchdown on their opening drive.
Quarterback Tom Brady was a perfect 6 of 6 for 41 yards with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett. Running back Dion Lewis ran the ball four times for 17 yards. Julian Edelman had a 20-yard catch.
First quarter, 15:00: The Patriots lost the coin toss, and the Dolphins elected to defer. The Patriots will receive to open the game.
12:28 p.m.: Vincent Valentine lined up with defensive starters over Malcom Brown during pregame warmups for the second straight week. Brown didn’t get into last week’s game until the fourth quarter.
11:31 a.m.: Here are the Patriots’ inactives:
OT LaAdrian Waddle
RB D.J. Foster
WR Danny Amendola
CB Cyrus Jones
WR Malcolm Mitchell
SS Jordan Richards
QB Jacoby Brissett
— The Patriots aren’t deactivating starters.
— Dont’a Hightower and Matthew Slater return after missing Week 16.
— Michael Floyd will be the No. 3 receiver, and the Patriots didn’t even activate Foster to serve as an emergency option.
— It’s likely we see Julian Edelman and Patrick Chung as punt returners with Foster and Jones inactive.
10:40 a.m. ET: The New England Patriots’ regular-season finale is upon us.
The Patriots can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. If the Patriots lose, they would need the Oakland Raiders to lose to or tie the Denver Broncos during the late afternoon games to get the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
The Dolphins can move up from the No. 6 seed to No. 5 with a win and Kansas City Chiefs loss to the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders and Chiefs still are competing for the AFC West title.
The Patriots have ruled out wide receivers Danny Amendola (ankle) and Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and cornerback Cyrus Jones (knee). Michael Floyd is expected to take on a bigger role as the Patriots’ No. 3 receiver against the Dolphins, who likely will be without three-fourths of their starting secondary.
The rest of the Patriots’ inactives will be declared at 11:30 a.m. We’ll keep you updated before and throughout the game with news, updates and analysis.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images