Desperate to stop Tom Brady's latest comeback bid, the Miami Dolphins sought help from a reserve safety making his NFL debut after being signed Tuesday off the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad.

Michael Thomas came through, intercepting Brady's fourth-down pass in the end zone with 2 seconds left Sunday to seal a seesaw 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots.

Thomas celebrated by flopping to his back and was swarmed by his new teammates.

''I didn't know what his first name was,'' defensive tackle Jared Odrick said. ''That's being thrown in the fire and reacting. That's a pure athlete.''

The Dolphins (8-6) won their third game in a row to help their AFC wild-card chances. They also snapped a streak of seven consecutive losses to the Patriots (10-4), who missed a chance to clinch their fifth consecutive AFC East title.

Miami's breakthrough win left even stoic second-year coach Joe Philbin in a mood to celebrate.

''I might jump in my pool,'' he said. ''I've been in it once since I've been here.''

Brady threw for 364 yards, but was frustrated by a succession of squandered scoring chances. He answered only two questions at his postgame news conference before cutting the session short.

''We didn't do a good job in the red area, and didn't do a good job finishing drives,'' he said. ''We came up on the short end of the stick. It wasn't a good day. Just couldn't make enough plays.''  (Associated Press}