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Tom Brady mocks his own speed with Facebook post 12.15.14 at 3:58 pm ET
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Tom Brady isn’t the fastest guy in the world, so after he rumbled for a 17-yard pickup Sunday against the Dolphins, it wasn’t a surprise this popped up on his Facebook page Monday afternoon:

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Bill Belichick has no problem with Tom Brady not sliding at end of Sunday’s run at 3:45 pm ET
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After Tom Brady delivered a 17-yard scramble in Sunday’s 41-13 win over the Dolphins, the quarterback joked after the game that he’d likely hear it from the coaches about how he didn’t slide at the end of the run, but instead finished off the run by crashing into Miami safety Walt Aikens.

“No, I could have slid, but I wasn’€™t in the best mood that time,” Brady said after the game. “If he was a bigger guy I would have thought really hard about sliding, but once I was in the secondary, things happen pretty quick for me out there.

“I’m not the fastest guy out there, so things close down pretty quick.”

But it sounds like Bill Belichick had no problem with Brady doing what he did. In a conference call with the media on Monday, the coach praised the quarterback for the move.

“I’€™ve coached for a long time, and I don’€™t question players’€™ decisions on the field when they try to make them to help the team win,” Belichick said. “I think that they do the best that they can. They’€™re trying to win; they’€™re trying to win just as much as everybody else on the team is.

“I’€™m not saying every decision is a great one, and the same thing with a coach, same thing with me,” he added. “I’€™m not saying every decision is a great one. But every one is made with the intention to help our team win and do the best that I can, or an individual player can for the team. So, I don’€™t second-guess those. I think what he does at the time he does it is what he thinks is best and I don’€™t second-guess him.”

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Second-half domination: Patriots defense shutting opponents down over final 2 quarters of late at 1:54 pm ET
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Devin McCourty and the Patriots defense has been outstanding in the second half of games of late. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Devin McCourty and the Patriots defense has been outstanding in the second half of games of late. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It was a tale of two halves Sunday for the Patriots, as they flipped a switch and outscored the Dolphins 27-0 in the second half on their way to a 41-13 win and their sixth straight AFC East title.

While Tom Brady and the offense get all the highlights, what has gone seemingly unnoticed of late has been the outstanding performance by the Patriots defense in second half of games. Brady credited the defense Monday morning when he was on with Dennis & Callahan.

“Our defense is playing as well as I can ever remember,” Brady said. “They really set the tone for us the last bunch of weeks.”

The Patriots have not allowed a second half touchdown since Andrew Luck and the Colts all the way back on Nov. 16. They have outscored their opponents 54-6 in the second half of games over the last four games, allowing field goals to the Packers and Lions.

In the first halves of games over that span the defense has allowed an average of 228.75 yards. In the second half, those yards go down by over 100, as the defense is allowing just 114.25 yards.

“We just made adjustments at halftime and really just started faster,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said after Sunday’s game, where the defense allowed just 113 net yards in the second half. “We felt like coming out, we played a little slow in the first half, so just making some adjustments at halftime and starting faster out there.”

“Awful. It was an awful half, we didn’€™t come out to play,”€ Miami wide receiver Mike Wallace added. ‘€œThey whooped us from the first play to the last play. Bad. They dominated us in the second half, totally.”

Opposing quarterbacks have also struggled in the second half, and they aren’t any slouches either, as Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford have gone a combined 47-for-85 (55.3 percent) with 471 yards (117.75 yards average), zero touchdowns and three interceptions in the second half against the Patriots over the last four weeks.

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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I don’t think we ever take the pedal off the metal until there’s no time left in the game’ at 9:19 am ET
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Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning, a day after the Patriots clinched their 11th AFC East title in 12 seasons with a 41-13 rout of the Dolphins. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady completed 21-of-35 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He also scrambled for a first down in the third quarter to spark the offense after an unimpressive first half.

“I found a little space there,” Brady said of his run. “They’ve been doing it to us the last few times that we played them where they really focus the coverage on a few guys and it leaves definitely some places to run. When I felt like I had the look, I kind of wanted to pull the trigger, and I saw some space and got some great blocks down field. So it ended up being a big play in the game.”

That 17-yard run was a hot topic after the game.

“Well, it’s pretty atypical. I guess when it happens once every seven or eight years then yeah, it can definitely be talked about,” Brady joked. “But I thought there were a lot of great things to be talked about. Certainly, a lot of guys played really well yesterday. Our defense is playing as well as I can ever remember. They really set the tone for us the last bunch of weeks.

“I’m glad we were able to put some things together there in the second half. But it’s a good defense. They’re the fifth-rated defense in the league. They got guys that can rush, they got guys they can cover. We made some plays there in the second half, which was great to see.”

After being tackles, Brady got up and was very vocal in the direction of Dolphins safety Walt Aikens.

“I don’t remember [what was said]. No, I don’t remember much,” Brady said. “He gave me a good little pop. Normally I’m always going down or getting out, and I was pretty close to the goal line. But there’s a reason why they’re called safeties and they’re the last line of defense. He definitely didn’t let me get any farther than I wanted to go.”

Asked if he took the hit in an effort to light a fire under the team, Brady said: “Well, I said after the game that I wasn’t in the best of mood at that time. So I think when I got there and I was into the secondary and surveyed some things and then I saw him coming, I just figured, why not? I don’t take those too often because usually those don’t go to well for me or for many players when they’re not used to getting hit. And he was bigger than I thought he was. I wish I would’ve stayed on my feet. But it was good play, it was a play that we needed. A lot of guys made a bunch of plays that we needed. I was glad to be able to contribute.”

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Julian Edelman loves to watch his ‘Clydesdale’ Tom Brady run like Michael Vick 12.14.14 at 9:58 pm ET
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FOXBORO — When Tom Brady took off on his memorable tone-setting 17-yard jaunt in the third quarter, Julian Edelman had a couple of visions flash though his mind.

“It’s always fun to see the Clydesdale run,” Edelman said. “He’s been working hard on his little mobility stuff. He takes that to heart. It always fun to see him get fired up after a run. I call him Brady-Vick. He’s always had unbelievable pocket awareness. It’s always great to seeing the big dog out there moving the chains.”

Told the third-and-11 run was 17 yards, Edelman was incredulous.

“It was 17 yards? That was the slowest 17 yards I’ve ever seen in my life,” Edelman said.

Of course, the first half was no laughing matter. The Patriots were spinning their wheels. They led 14-13 over the Dolphins but couldn’t put a lot of plays together.

“I can’t answer that question, ‘Why it didn’t work in the first half?'” Edelman said. “But I can answer that it was a little better in the second half. We definitely have to go out and work on starting it faster, plain and simple, because now each and every game has a little more value. We’ll definitely have to work on that and I’m sure that’ll be a focus with our coaches.
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Photos: Patriots celebrate 6th straight AFC East title at 6:42 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots won their sixth straight AFC East title with a convincing 41-13 win over the Dolphins Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The team took to Twitter and Instagram to show off their new AFC East Champion gear.

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Tom Brady on his 17-yard run: ‘I was pretty pissed off that time, so I figured I wouldn’t slide’ at 6:25 pm ET
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Tom Brady's 17-yard run ignited the Patriots offense into scoring 27 second half points. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady‘s 17-yard run ignited the Patriots offense into scoring 27 second half points. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — A message needed to be sent.

The Patriots were only ahead of the Dolphins 14-13 at the half, after allowing Miami to score 10 points in the final four minutes and change of the first half to get back in the game. The Patriots offense was sluggish, totaling just 102 years of net offense in the opening half, and only 82 passing yards.

On the opening drive of the second half, it was 3rd-and-11 on the Miami 20-yard line and Brady dropped back to pass, finding no receiver open in the Miami secondary. Brady, who rarely ever runs with the ball, took off and picked up the first down getting inside the 5-yard line up the right sideline. Instead of sliding, Brady took on Dolphins safety Walt Atkins head on and picked up a total of 17 yards to set up a LeGarrette Blount 3-yard touchdown run on the next play.

It was Brady’s longest run since 2007 and the third-longest of his career.

“I think it was a play that we needed to make so it was good to make it at that time,” Brady said after the game. “I was going to slide but I was pretty pissed off that time so I figured I wouldn’€™t slide. I wish I wouldn’€™t have gotten knocked down, but that’€™s the way it goes.”

Asked if his unusual running ability gave the team some momentum, Brady said it was more Blount’s touchdown, which put the team ahead 21-13 at the time.

“I think the touchdown did more so on the next play,” Brady said. “That was a great run. It’€™s just whatever it takes. I think that’€™s what matters. I think all our guys responded the way we wanted to and it was good to go in there and finish them off like we did.”

New England’s offense was an entirely different unit in the second half. After totaling 102 yards in the first half, they finished with 293 in the second half. Brady was 8-for-15 with 82 yards and an interception in the first half, but was 13-for-20 with 205 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions in the second half. Brady finished the game 21-for-35 with 287 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. It was his tenth straight game of throwing for more than 245 yards.

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