Patriots dominate the Dolphins, finding groove at the end of the season



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FOXBOROUGH, Mbad. (AP) The New England Patriots joined their recent dominance of the Miami Dolphins. Tom Brady and the company are starting to look like the team to beat in the AFC.

Brady, who looks like a MVP candidate at age 40, threw four touchdown pbades to help the Patriots win 35-17 on Sunday.

It was the seventh consecutive win for New England. The following is a final stretch of four division opponents in five games.

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The Patriots have also won at least nine games for 17 consecutive seasons. That's the most consecutive winning season since the 1970 merger.

"I was a kid growing up in San Mateo when (San Francisco 49ers) did it too," Brady said. "The expectations are really high for what the teams have done in the past and I think the guys who come to sit in these chairs here and watch the coach (Bill) Belichick and understand why we are playing and the history of the team."

One of the last five New England games will be a second game against Miami (4-7) in two weeks, a team that has now lost five consecutive games overall and nine consecutive times in New England for a combined score of 290-126.

The Dolphins season is not a total losing cause yet, but it's certainly approaching that turning point as they go through their worst losing streak since 2011.

Coach Adam Gase said he believes there's still fight on his team.

"I think they're still struggling," he said. "That's the frustrating part, more than anything, and it's not translating to Sunday … They have to trust what they're told and do exactly what they're supposed to do, and that's when we'll start to have better results. "

It will be even more difficult in the future. With starting quarterback Jay Cutler working to recover from the concussion protocol, the Dolphins also lost running back Damien Williams on Sunday. He was taken off the field in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.

ROUGH START

Miami quarterback Matt Moore struggled to find a rhythm in his second start of the season. He completed 23 of 34 pbades for 215 yards and a touchdown, but he also had two interceptions. He was fired seven times.

"Obviously we will have to re-evaluate where we are at the moment," Gase said. "I probably have to move some pieces, I do not even know how bad they all are now."

REDUCED SANCTIONS

Miami entered Sunday as the second penalized team in the NFL, committing 84 penalties in its first 10 games.

He had only six for 52 yards against the Patriots, but two of them helped establish the third score of the New England game.

"There are self-inflicted wounds that raised their ugly heads," defensive lineman Cameron Wake said. "They cost you plays, which in turn costs you the position in the field, which in turn costs you points on the board, and obviously that influences the course of the game."

BATTERED BRADY

] Moore was not the only player who received some hits on Sunday.

Although Brady was only caught once by the Dolphins' defense, he took eight total hits.

He recognized after the game that he expected the Miami defense to try to put him to the test.

"Yeah, I definitely did some shots, they're a tough D line," said Brady. "Obviously they made a lot of investments in that group and those guys play very hard … Today they gave me some good shots, but I'll be back and I'll be ready to go on Wednesday."

RARE TURNOVERS

Brady's interception and his clumsy punch that was returned for a touchdown were the Patriots' first turnovers since their October 15 victory over the Jets.

Brady only had two interceptions in 2016.

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/khightower

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