The New England Patriots were looking to follow suit with the Pittsburgh Steelers, as their magic number to clinch the AFC East is just one. A win over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football would've done the trick, although, it was not as easy as it may have looked on paper. New England was haunted by a slow start, as Jay Cutler went on to throw for 263 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-20 Dolphins victory. Tom Brady was intercepted twice by Xavien Howard and failed to convert on third down in the Patriots' third loss of the season, and their first defeat on the road. The slow start saw the Pats record just two yards in the first 15 minutes, which is the lowest amount for a quarter for a Brady-led Patriots team. The Pats failed to clinch their ninth consecutive AFC East Title despite being 11-point favorites over the now 6-7 Dolphins. Brady finished with just 233 yards and a touchdown, as he was sacked twice and hit five times in the loss. The Pats can now clinch with a Buffalo Bills loss next week with a win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They clinch a playoff spot with a Baltimore Ravens loss. The Dolphins seem to be out of the AFC Playoff picture but they do move on to battle the Bills in Buffalo.
Warriors Win Seventh Straight, Hold Off Blazers
The Golden State Warriors have been finding a way to stay atop the Western Conference along with the Houston Rockets, and a seven-game win streak definitely helps that. The Warriors topped the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, 111-104, for their seventh straight victory. Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds, and five assists to lead the Warriors, who were still without Steph Curry for a third straight game. They were also without Draymond Green due to a sore shoulder and Zaza Pachulia, who is also dealing with shoulder soreness. Durant shot 11-of-21 from the floor to overcome the losses, while Klay Thompson put up 24, despite a cold shooting start. The likes of Nick Young and David West also contributed, as Young scored 12 points in 13 minutes, while West added 10 points to reach double figures in consecutive games for the first time since 2015-16 while with the Spurs. This all help outlast Damian Lillard's 39 points, which was a season-high but not enough for the Blazers, who dropped to .500 at 13-13. Lillard included five three-pointers, but his team dropped to 6-5 away from home. The Warriors will play host to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, while the Blazers head east to battle the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
Yankees Finalize Deal for Stanton
The New York Yankees got a lot scarier and gave new manager Aaron Boone an added weapon in his now stacked lineup. As if 59 home runs wasn't enough for NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, he may exceed that total playing in pinstripes at Yankee Stadium after the Yankees took advantage of the Miami Marlins' plan to sell. The Yankees are sending Starlin Castro and two prospects to Miami in a blockbuster trade that partners up Stanton and Aaron Judge in the middle of the New York lineup. Judge put up 52 home runs in his rookie season a year ago, and battled with Stanton in the Home Run Derby this past July. The Marlins' fan base has not responded well to the recent selling by the new man in charge, and former Yankee, Derek Jeter. Stanton joins Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna on the list of Marlins that have been dealt. There is no telling what direction the Marlins are going in, but the Yankees are all in for a legitimate run in the American League.