Monday night’s loss by the Dolphins locked up the Patriots’ 7th straight AFC East Division title, tying them with the Rams for the most consecutive Division crowns (1973-1979) and further establishing what is a remarkable era of football in New England.
But the job isn’t done yet and this weekend can potentially help New England get one step closer to at least being able to have a week of rest heading into the postseason.
As it stands right now, a win over the Titans by New England, coupled with a loss by the Denver Broncos, clinches at least a first-round bye heading into the playoffs. A second, albeit a little more unlikely, scenario for a bye would involve the Patriots beating Tennessee coupled with a Cincinnati loss and Denver tie.
The news that they were AFC East Champs apparently came as a surprise to Tom Brady, who admitted on WEEI that he wasn’t aware that Miami’s loss clinched the Division for New England until he woke up and read about it online Tuesday morning.
“I didn’t know until this morning when I saw NFL.com,” Brady said via WEEI.com. “It said on NFL.com, so that is pretty cool. It’s a great achievement for our team. I didn’t know that was possible last night, or else I probably would have stayed up and watched a little bit longer. Obviously there was some tiebreaker that we came up with or something. That’s great.”
“That’s what you start with, is winning your division. We talk about that every year. We’ve done a good job in our division thus far being 4-0 and we’ll have a chance the last two weeks of the year to finish strong after this Titans game.”
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