Patriots top Dolphins, clinch AFC East title

Posted Dec. 02, 2012 @ 4:48 p.m.
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By Steven Wine, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) — Tom Brady had his least efficient game of the year and even threw an interception, but the New England Patriots took advantage of Miami's mistakes Sunday to win 23-16 and clinch their fourth consecutive AFC East title.

A botched punt, roughing-the-punter penalty and fumble by Miami led to 17 New England points, and another penalty negated a Dolphins touchdown.

Brady finished 24 for 40 for 238 yards and was sacked four times. But with the Patriots nursing a 20-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter, he led a 16-play drive that took more than seven minutes and led to a field goal.

The Patriots (9-3) have won six games in a row and are assured of their 12th consecutive winning season. Miami (5-7) lost to New England for the fifth consecutive time.

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