Pats grind one out, win another AFC East title

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Pats grind one out, win another AFC East title

It was a subdued atmosphere in the locker room after the Patriots clinched their 10th AFC East title in the past 12 years with a workman-like 23-16 victory over the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami.

The celebration of another division title was a little muted because the Patriots know they have bigger goals in mind than just reaching the playoffs.

The Patriots weren't spectacular in this victory. After piling up 59 and 49 points in their past two wins, New England needed a clock-killing fourth-quarter drive to put this one away.

Behind the running of Stevan Ridley, the Pats ground their way to a Stephen Gostowski field goal that gave them a 10-point lead (23-13) with a little more than a minute to play.

One down note could be the health of wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was spotted on crutches after the game. The Patriots (9-3) host the AFC-leading Houston Texans next Monday night in Foxborough.

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