By: Derek Havens
The patriots wrapped up their 2010 season with a 14-2 mark on Sunday afternoon. The 38 â€“ 7 rout of the Miami Dolphins cap a very impressive season for the club. The week 17 match-up had no implications for the Patriots as they had already sealed the AFCâ€™s top seed.
With much of the focus leading into the game focusing on how much starters would play, it would soon shift to highlight individual performances. Tom Brady surprised many people when he played into the third quarter. By then, the Patriots had built a 31-0 lead. With both Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez, and Wes Welker resting, the door was left open for others to get more reps. Taylor Price was active for the first time, Julian Edelman had a great 94 yard punt return, Brandon Tate scored on a 42 yard catch, and Rob Gronkowski dominated with over 100 yards. In addition, BenJarvus Green-Ellis became the first Patriots running back since 2004 to hit the 1,000 yard mark. The reaction on Patriots the sidelines showed how much it meant to the team and as BJGE headed to the sideline he was met by Belichick with open arms.
As the season comes to a close for many teams, the Patriots is just beginning. The team gets a well deserved bye week and then have to win just two home games to punch their tickets to Dallas. For the next two weeks, health and preparation are the only aspects Patriots nation should be concerned about. After another impressive win on Sunday, the team is rolling into the playoffs looking to start this new decade the same way the previous one did.
Overall, a great all around game for the Patriots. The received contributions from all three phases of the game and looked like the best team in the league.