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So, the New England Patriots are AFC East champions. Which is cool. And it guarantees a play-off game at home. Super. But it's just the start. Just making it to the play-offs isn't a successful season.

But the way we secured our place in the play-offs showed me just what the Patriots can do this year. The 23-16 win at the Miami Dolphins on Sunday doesn't seem spectacular or an amazing performance on paper, but this is exactly why it's impressive.

Tom Brady didn't have a great game. He even threw an interception, and didn't reach 300 yards. The run game just couldn't get going. But they continued to stop the Dolphins, Reggie Bush could only get 64 yards, Ryan Tannehill wasn't allowed to do anything special to win the game for Miami.

Like our three losses this year, this game could have gone differently. The Dolphins were always just in reach of the Patriots, but unlike earlier in the year, the defense didn't give up points, and Stevan Ridley was able to run out the game, on a 16 play, 77 yard drive, which resulted in a field goal to give the Patriots a 2 score lead which secured the game.

Sure, blowing out the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets in consecutive games is great, But getting into a sticky game against a divisional rival and coming out on top is just as impressive. The issue with the Patriots this year is seen to be that when it gets close, they cant put the game away.

Well, we just put one away. The 11-1 Houston Texans are next. Division champions is great, but the real test starts now.

Give me a follow on Twitter, @BrendanAnnely

Brendan Annely 12/03/2012 09:25:00 AM Edit
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