The Patriots clinched the AFC East division title for the fifth straight year thanks to a little help from last week’s foe, the Miami Dolphins.
With Miami’s 19-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday, the Patriots won the division by default. The Dolphins (8-7) are two games behind the Patriots (10-4) with only one left to play.
Miami could have made things more difficult for the Patriots had it won. New England would have had to secure at least one win against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon or in Week 17 against the Bills to take the division.
Now, the Patriots can secure a first-round bye with two straight wins to end the season.