Final Score: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20

The Broncos are again in control of the AFC playoff picture, thanks to Miami's (8-6) riveting 24-20 win over the visiting Patriots (10-4).

New England had a chance to move into the AFC's #1 seed with a win, but a late touchdown drive by Ryan Tannehill won the game for Miami.

Tom Brady led his team down the field in the final minute, but ultimately ran out of downs, and Michael Thomas intercepted his fourth-down pass in the end zone.

The latter portion of the game featured a pair of interesting fourth-down decisions.

First, Bill Belichick opted to kick on 4th-and-2 from the Miami five, and his team down 17-10.

His meekness was temporarily vindicated when the Pats came back with another touchdown, to take a 20-17 lead, but the advantage was shortlived.

Stephen Gostkowski's kickoff out of bounds left the Dolphins just 60 yards from the end zone, and Tannehill got them there with six gutsy completions. The second-year quarterback threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns for his first victory over Brady's Patriots, in his fourth attempt.

One of them, on a 4th-and-5 from the Miami 45, was a #winning decision which Phil Simms incorrectly characterized as proof the Dolphins lacked confidence in their defense.

The Patriots could have matched the Broncos at 11-3, and their head-to-head advantage would have broken the tie.

Instead, Denver again has a one-game lead on them in the standings, and can capture home field advantage by winning at Houston and Oakland.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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