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    Tom Brady: Patriots’ defensive success no ‘fluke’

    Quarterback Tom Brady says it’s not just luck that the Patriots’ defense is taking the ball away from opponents so often.

    “I think we’ve proven over the course of the season that our defense is going to get us the ball on interceptions and fumbles,” Brady said on his weekly appearance Monday on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan program. “How many fumbles have we’ve forced this year? It’s been a ridiculous amount but I wouldn’t say that’s a fluke, I’d say that’s a strength of what our guys are capable of doing. That’s a trait of our defense and it shows itself every single week ... We’ve been forcing fumbles all season, we've been forcing quarterbacks into bad throws, and getting interceptions and taking advantage of interceptions ... That’s been really critical to our success.”

    Following a win over the Jets on Thanksgiving, Brady believes the Patriots are clicking on all cylinders.


    “The truth is, we’re trying to play our best football every week,” Brady said. “It just so happened the Jets were the opponent and they made some mistakes in the game that we capitalized on ... It was a great win for our team for a short week against an opponent that always plays us really tough so we didn’t take anything for granted, I thought we put a lot of work in and it paid off and that, I think, was the most gratifying part of the whole night.”

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    The Patriots are one win from clinching the AFC East title. Brady said that while there’s more on the line Sunday vs. the Dolphins, all games are important at this point.

    “[A win Sunday] assures you a home playoff game and I think that’s goal number one ... We talk about must-win games, but they’re all must-win at this point ... And as the season goes on every game becomes more important than the game you just played so I think that’s the case this week too.”

    The Patriots will play the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami. Brady praised the Dolphins’ third-down defense and secondary, saying their players are athletic and know how to rush the quarterback.

    “They [the Dolphins] won a big game yesterday against Seattle, a team we lost to, so I know they’ve got a lot of players with a lot of talent ... It’s going to be a fun game, I’m excited to get back out there. We’ve been off since Thursday so it feels like another bye week for us. Hopefully we can go out and take advantage.”

    Follow Marie Torto on Twitter @ChocoAndWine