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Patriots Edge Dolphins, Win AFC East

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- The New England Patriots are AFC East Champions once again.

It wasn't an easy game, but the Patriots outlasted the Miami Dolphins 23-16 to clinch their fourth consecutive division title and their ninth in the past ten years.

Tom Brady wasn't his usual dominant self.  He finished with 238 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception.  He was also sacked four times in the win.

Running Back Steven Ridley had 19 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots (9-3) were clinging to as 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter when Brady took them on a 16-play drive that lasted over seven minutes and led to a field goal to put them up 10.

The win assured New England of their 12th winning season in a row.

Miami (5-7) lost their fifth straight game to the Patriots and their already slim playoff hopes took a huge hit.  Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed for 186 yards.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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