Dolphins 24, Patriots 20: Ryan Tannehill tossed three touchdown passes - including a 14-yard score to Marcus Thigpen with 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter - as host Miami strengthened its playoff positioning and prevented New England from clinching its fifth consecutive AFC East title and 10th in 11 years.
Tannehill (25-of-37, 312 yards) highlighted his performance with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace (six catches, 105 yards), who has scored in three of his last four games. Daniel Thomas added a 2-yard touchdown reception for the Dolphins (8-6), who have won three in a row to move into sixth place in the AFC - one-half game ahead of Baltimore (7-6), which visits Detroit on Monday.
Tom Brady (34-of-55, 364 yards) found a familiar target in Julian Edelman with Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. The 27-year-old Edelman reeled in 13 receptions for a career-high 139 yards and a TD while tight end Michael Hoomanawanui made a 13-yard touchdown catch for the Patriots (10-4), who saw their seven-game winning streak against Miami come to an end.
After tight end Charles Clay made his first catch to convert a fourth-and-5, the Dolphins moved the ball down the field before Thigpen gained a step on unsuspecting linebacker Dont'a Hightower and scooted into the end zone. Brady drove the Patriots down to Miami's 14-yard line with 16 seconds remaining but misfired on throws to Edelman and Hoomanawanui in the end zone before tossing a game-ending interception to Michael Thomas, who was on San Francisco's practice squad as recently as last week.
Miami erased an early 10-point deficit and claimed a 17-10 advantage as Tannehill faked an end-around before hitting Thomas in the flat for an easy score on the first play of the fourth quarter. New England settled for its second field goal by Stephen Gostkowski following 16- and 15-play drives to trim the deficit midway through the session.
GAME NOTEBOOK: New England claimed a 10-0 advantage late in the second quarter as Brady side-stepped the pressure before finding Hoomanawanui, who made a one-handed catch in the left corner of the end zone. The score was the fourth of Hoomanawanui's career - and first this season. ... Miami answered in 66 seconds on the ensuing eight-play drive as Tannehill found Wallace on a slant over the middle before rookie K Caleb Sturgis' 32-yard field goal midway through the third tied the game at 10-10. ... Gostkowski missed wide left on a 48-yard field-goal attempt early in the third quarter, snapping a string of 21 straight conversions from inside 50 yards.
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