BOSTON (CBS) — Without even taking the field, the Patriots clinched the AFC East on Sunday for the fifth straight season on Sunday.
The Patriots entered Week 16 without a secured playoff spot, but Miami’s 19-0 loss to Buffalo clinched the division for New England.
It is the 11th time in the last 13 years that the Patriots have won their division.
The Patriots had a chance to clinch the division in Week 15 but their comeback fell just short in a 24-20 loss in Miami.
The Patriots, at 10-4, still have work to do in order to remain in the No. 2 spot in the conference. Both the Patriots and Bengals won on Sunday. In order to secure a first-round bye, the Patriots have to beat the Bills in Week 17, provided Cincinnati beats Baltimore next week as well.