(AP) — Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and the New England Patriots regained their dominance after a rare slump, earning a playoff bye with a 28-0 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Stevan Ridley ran for two touchdowns as the Patriots used a ball-control offense and a defense that racked up a season-high seven sacks.
Now, seeded second in the AFC, they have an extra week to savor the win and prepare for their postseason opener.
The Patriots (12-4) led 21-0 at halftime on Brady’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker and Ridley’s runs of 1 and 2 yards, capping drives lasting 14 and 13 plays. They ended the scoring on Brady’s 23-yard scoring pass to Rob Gronkowski, who missed the previous five games after breaking his left forearm.
The Dolphins (7-9) finished with a losing record for the fourth straight season.