If you thought the New England Patriots, in this final regular season game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon, would take it easy with nothing to play for as the #1 playoff seed in the AFC, you just don't know a Bill Belichick-led squad. Simply put, the Patriots cremated a Dolphins team that just didn't show up, by a score of 38-7.
It was the eighth win in a row for the Pats and it put them at 14-2 for the year and 8-0 at home in Foxboro for the second straight regular season. They are a machine, and a nearly unstoppable one at that.
Both teams were missing key players (Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez, among others, were smartly made "inactive" for the Pats), but one team continued to show its depth of talent while the other (7-9 Miami squad) displayed it doesn't have much at all and didn't play like it was trying to potentially save the job of its head coach, Tony Sparano.
With the exception of some penalties and Danny Woodhead fumbling the ball (after being roughed up) for the first time in his Pats career and then leaving the game with an injured head, it was a nearly perfect day once again for the Pats, who incredibly keep blowing out team after team and proving without question they are the NFL's team to beat no matter who plays and who doesn't.
Brady and Belichick Make History
Tom Brady ended the regular season on Sunday adding on to his NFL record of pass attempts without throwing an interception, which now stands at 335. He has now won 28 consecutive regular season games at home, which is also an NFL record, as is the fact that with 38 points against Miami, the Pats have gone eight straight games with 30+ points. Total domination, indeed.
From the official Patriots Facebook page comes some other noteworthy and mind-blowing stats, including that Brady finished the season with an 111.0 passer rating, which is fifth best all-time.
New England's franchise quarterback is the sixth quarterback in NFL history to throw at least one touchdown in every regular season game, and according to the Extra Points blog, this was the ninth week in a row he threw two TDs without an interception. Overall, it was the 11th game in a row with no interceptions thrown, which is absolutely unheard of these days.
The Pats also set an NFL record-low 10 turnovers in 2010. With Brady throwing only four INTs (to go with a league-leading 36 TDs) on the year, it's not so surprising. I chalk that record low amount of turnovers not just to the brilliance and talent of Brady but to Belichick trading the fumble-prone Laurence Maroney, not bringing back the talented but shaky hands of tight end Ben Watson, and trading Randy Moss.