Top of the morning: Pats clinch; Sox shop

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Top of the morning: Pats clinch; Sox shop

Eric Frede of "SportsNet Central" has a recap and reaction from the Patriots' 23-16 win over the Dolphins in Miami.

The victory clinched the Pats' 10th AFC East title in the last 12 years and it wasn't easy. New England needed a 16-play, 77-yard drive that ate up about 7 minutes of the fourth quarter to secure the win.

While pleased with another AFC East title, the Patriots are,of course, looking for more. Right now they sit at 9-3 and in the No. 2 spot in the AFC. Coming into Foxborough next Monday night are the AFC's best, the Houston Texans (11-1).

Elsewhere, baseball's hot stove season is heating up with the winter meetings beginning in Nashville, Tenn.

The player who is on everyone's mind is free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. He's been linked to the Red Sox in several reports.

The Sox have plenty of needs after a 69-win season, and they've got some money to spend, too, after shedding some contracts late last season.

Pierce laughs at Ryan-Brady matchup; LeBron praises Blount

Pierce laughs at Ryan-Brady matchup; LeBron praises Blount

LeBron James and Paul Pierce were among those to voice their support for the Patriots during their AFC Championship win over the Steelers Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. 

Pierce seemingly took a playful jab at Matt Ryan after tweeting throughout the Pats’ win. Pierce posted multiple pictures of himself during the AFC Championship, tweeting at the end of the game that he didn’t love the former BC quarterback’s odds against Tom Brady. 

James, meanwhile, gave props to Pats running back LeGarrette Blount, who had a rushing touchdown in the third quarter.