We hear every year about how the Pats benefit from being in a week division. Let's put it to the test. Reality: Pats in AFC East, 17 seasons with Brady as QB (Excluding 2008) Brady's record vs. AFC East (.790), 16 playoffs, 14 first round byes Buffalo: 30-3 (Regular season record vs. Brady, from Tom Brady Career Splits | Pro-Football-Reference.com Miami: 22-11 New York: 27-7 Now, what if we replaced the worst team in each of the other AFC divisions with New England over this time period? AFC North. Patriots replacing the Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens: 6-1 Cincinnati Bengals: 6-1 Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-3 .800 cumulative record, even better than the AFC East! Even though Baltimore has won in the playoffs vs. NE and seems to usually give the Pats a tough game, they have a worse regular season record vs. Brady than the Jets and Phins. I believe that the only years that one of these teams had a better regular season record than the Pats and would have cost them a first round bye is 2001 and 2004. Those were both years that the Pats went to Pittsburgh and won the AFCC. Also, in 2004, it would remain to be seen how a regular season rematch would have gone. I think it's safe to say that replacing two games against the Browns with two games against the Patriots would have a cumulative adverse affect in each of these franchises' winning percentage. It may have prompted a shorter trigger in replacing coaches. AFC South, Patriots replacing the Jags Houston Texans 7-1 Indianapolis Colts 11-3 Tennessee Titans 5-2 .793 cumulative record. Even better than the AFC East! Weirdly, I don't think there's a single Super Bowl season in which the Patriots would have lost their first round bye despite the Colts being very good in the Manning years. The Patriots were just better in their Super Bowl years. And in the late Indy Manning years, those were the years that the Pats weren't making the Super Bowl anyway (2005-6) AFC West, Patriots replacing the Raiders Denver Broncos 7-6 Kansas City Chiefs 5-3 SD/LA Chargers 6-2 A horrible .621 winning percentage. The horrors! ' The Broncos might have been able to steal a few first round byes in the Manning years. In 2014, the Broncos and Pats had the same 12-4 record. The Chiefs would probably have made us a Wild Card this year, pending on who would win the 2nd regular season game. The Chargers were 12-4 in 2004, and they could have challenged for the division win depending on how the Pats played with the other teams in the division. Basically, this is the only AFC division in which there's any argument that the division would have made a dent in the Pats' dominance. It would remain to be seen how the Pats would fare if they played each other two times a year. I won't go into the NFC as much as there's not much of a sample size with only 5 games or less to work with. Only the Seahawks and Panthers have a winning record vs. Brady. Basically, I would say that instead of Patriots benefiting from a weak division, I'd say that most teams would be psychologically destroyed if they were locked in a division with the Pats over this period of time.