DENVER -- This was't a simple hat-and-T-shirt game for the Patriots.
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Yes, they earned their 'AFC East Champion' hats and shirts by beating the Broncos, 16-3, on Sunday. But they also wrote several pages of history in the process:
-- They set an NFL record for consecutive division championships with eight. They had been tied with the 1973-79 Rams with seven straight division titles.
-- The Patriots are the only team in NFL history to win 13 division titles in 14 years.
-- Bill Belichick set an NFL record for most division championships by a head coach, with 14. He had been tied with Tom Landry and Don Shula at 13.
-- They became the fifth team in NFL history to make the playoffs in at least eight consecutive seasons. They last missed the postseason in 2008.
-- They also clinched their seventh consecutive 12-victory season, which ties them with the 2003-09 Colts for most consecutive 12-win seasons since the 1970 merger.