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Patriots have Dolphins number

The Patriots faced the Miami Dolphins for the second time in the week and defeated them for the third time during the 1997 season with a 17-3 victory in the opening game of the playoffs.

The Patriots stopped the Miami passing game by getting to Dan Marino before the ball was thrown. Marino was sacked four times and threw two interceptions. The first interception was thrown to Chris Slade who returned it 22 yards to the 29-yard line. Three plays later Bledsoe hit Troy Brown on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Marino 's second interception fell in the hands of of Todd Collins on the second play of the second half, who returned it 40 yards for the touchdown. This was the sixth time that the Patriots intercepted Marino this year, and the third time it was returned for a touchdown.
The Patriots last score was set up by the running of back-up running back, Derrick Cullorswho was in for the injured Curtis Martin. He carried the team on a 15 play 67-yard scoring drive which was iced by an Adam Vinatieri field goal.
The Dolphins recovered the onside pooch on the ensuing kick-off. They drove the ball and punched through a field goal to negate the shut-out.
The final score was 17-3 in favor of the Patriots. The victory actually made the Patriots just the sixth team in NFL history to sweep an opponent three times in one season.

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