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Patriots 27, Dolphins 24

Patriots roar back to retain No. 1 spot

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England emphasizes playing well for 60 minutes every game. Saturday, 30 was enough — barely.

Rallying from their worst half of the season, the Patriots scored on their next five possessions and clinched a playoff bye with a victory over the Dolphins.

"You don't want to, certainly, make a habit of this," said Tom Brady, who scored on two 1-yard sneaks and threw for a 1-yard TD. "We showed some resiliency."

New England won its seventh straight and stayed a game ahead of Baltimore for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

"First half we came out and played our tempo and our ballgame," Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles said. "The second half they made us play theirs."

The AFC East champions trailed 17-0 at halftime but rallied by using the no-huddle offense more.

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Patriots 27, Dolphins 24 12/24/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 24, 2011 9:06pm]
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