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Gold Stars, Penalty Flags: Patriots Finish Off Regular Season The Right Way

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots finished off their regular season the right way. They went down to Miami and left nothing to chance.

They beat the Dolphins soundly, 35-14, and earned themselves the top seed in the AFC for the playoffs. Here are your Gold Stars and Penalty Flags from Sunday's regular season finale:

Gold Stars

- Michael Floyd gets a gold star. Sure, he only had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown, but it was his physical play that stood out.

Floyd bullied his way into the end zone on his 14-yard touchdown, but that wasn't even the highlight of the game. Floyd's crushing block to free Julian Edelman for a 77-yard score was all anybody could talk about. Patriots' players were going crazy about it before Edelman could get into the end zone.

Without Rob Gronkowski on the field the Pats are missing some physicality on offense. But on Sunday, Michael Floyd provided just that.

- Julian Edelman gets a gold star after finishing the game with eight catches (on 13 targets) for 151 yards and that long touchdown. He finished the regular season with 98 receptions and a career-high 1,106 receiving yards. Jules really stepped up after Gronk went down, hauling in 34 receptions for 489 yards in the five games after the Pats lost their behemoth tight end.

He also made it clear that playing in all 16 games was important to him, and he accomplished that feat on Sunday. We talk about guys and their injuries, and Edelman gets pummeled game after game. This year he got up and kept playing. Good for him.

- The New England defense gets a gold star. For the 11th time this season, the Pats held their opponent under 20 points. They finished the regular season allowing 15.6 points per game, the best in the NFL.

Sunday was another game where the D got some turnovers, and another game where the opponent was held to less than 100 yards on the ground. Logan Ryan had a big play, Shea McClellin had a big play, and Devin McCourty had another big hit. This is what the defense was supposed to look like at the beginning of the season. But it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

The Pats defense is heading into the postseason strong and playing their best football.

Penalty Flags

- Anything to do with the Miami Dolphins gets a penalty flag.

The field was a mess, and guys were slipping and falling down throughout the game. They were very lucky no one got hurt. I know there was a Bowl game at Hard Rock Stadium on Friday night, but they still have to do better than that. The good news is the Dolphins don't host any home games this postseason, so no one has to see that field for a while. It was in just horrible shape.

Ndamukong Suh gets a penalty flag. Why is this guy such a dirty player? As big as he is and as strong has he his, he just can't play the game the right way. He pushed/knocked over David Andrews on one play when he flew offsides, and had a big beef with LeGarrette Blount throughout the game.

Suh is such a disappointment. He has Hall of Fame talent, but a ten-cent head. In the end, that equals a mediocre player. You would think he would get tired of hearing questions about his dirty play, but that is not the case. That's how he plays the game. He's a waste.



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