The Patriots finished off a 14-2 season by stomping all over the hapless Miami Dolphins by a score of 38-7.
The party started early with a Rob Gronkowski touchdown reception. BenJarvus Green-Ellis punched it in from the one to make it 14-0. A field goal and a 94 yard kickoff return by Julian Edelman made it 24-0 at the half.
Tom Brady played into the third quarter, and hit Alge Crumpler to make it 31-0. Bobby Hoyer, Brady's backup, hit Brandon Tate for a 42 yard score to make it 38-0. Davone Bess caught a TD for Miami, and somebody managed to give Danny Woodhead a concussion.
Brady stuck around to throw for 199 yards and 2 TDs. Rob Gronkowski had 102 yards and a touchdown. BJGE went over 1000 yards for the season, with 13 touchdowns. He was undrafted out of Mississippi 2 years ago. Brandon Tate averaged 41 yards per catch. Rob Ninkovich had 2 sacks and a fumble recoveery. Fred Taylor even got into the mix.
The Pats now can kick back next week and watch Indianapolis, New York, Baltimore and Kansas City beat each other up. As the team with the best record in the AFC, we get a first round bye, a game against the lowest remaining seed that survives wild card weekend, and home field through the AFC title game.
New England had 2 losses all year. One was a stomping by the Jets, which we later avenged to the tune of 45-3. The other was an anomaly to Cleveland that just seemed to get us angry. Of the current playoff teams, we've destroyed New York, Baltimore (close game, granted), Pittsburgh, Chicago, Green Bay and Indianapolis.
The Sports Desk will now go into playoff mode, so forgive any psychosis you see on these pages in the next few weeks.
Editor's Note: The Cleveland Browns fired Eric Mangini as head coach. The Mangina will return to his Brewster home and wait for offers to come in. I'd give him the Barnstable High School football job, if he does a good interview.