Loss costs Patriots AFC's top seed
MIAMI — A whipsaw hit sent Tom Brady's legs one direction and his upper body the other, leaving him face down in the turf.
Brady rose — slowly — but the hits kept coming from the Dolphins, who beat New England and cost the Patriots the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
With the Pats anxious to protect Brady's health, he threw a season-low 21 passes, and even so he was lucky to make it through the game in one piece. He was sacked twice and endured several knockdowns.
"I'm pretty sore," Brady said, "but I'll be all right." He walked gingerly as he left the postgame interview podium.
Denver got past New England for the No. 1 seed with its victory over San Diego. The Patriots settled for the No. 2 seed.
"Wherever we play, we play," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
DeVante Parker won a jump-ball battle for a long pass to make a 46-yard catch, setting up the touchdown that put Miami ahead to stay with seven minutes left.