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Pats make statement in closeout triumph

Whatever happened yesterday against Miami, the Patriots were going to end the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. That didn’t stop them from closing it out in style.

Whatever happened yesterday against Miami, the Patriots were going to end the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

That didn’t stop them from closing it out in style.

The Pats cruised to a 38-7 win over the hapless Dolphins.?They’ll have a week off before the playoffs.

Tom Brady played into the third quarter yesterday, leaving with a 31-0 lead after going 10-for-16 with two touchdowns.

With Deion Branch and Wes Welker inactive for the game, along with rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez, it was up to the rest of the receiving corps to step up.

Cue fellow rookie Rob Gronkowski, who surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career and caught his 10th TD of the season — a Patriots rookie record.

“Rob’s done a good job for us all year,” coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s blocked well; he’s caught the ball. He’s got a good catching radius and does a good job of positioning himself from the defender so that the quarterback can throw the ball where he can get it and the defender can’t.”

 
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