FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots claimed their 10th consecutive AFC East title with a 24-12 win in Sunday's Week 16 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, and they put themselves in elite company when it comes to winning division championships.
The Patriots have joined the Atlanta Braves as the only teams from the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL to win 10 or more consecutive division titles. The Braves won 11 straight National League East crowns from 1995 through 2005. Atlanta won the World Series in 1995 and lost in 1996 and 1999 (both defeats to the New York Yankees).
The Pats have won the AFC East every season since 2009. They came in second place in 2008, which halted a run of five straight division titles from 2003 through 2007. The Patriots have won two of the four Super Bowls they've played in during this current run of division dominance.
The Patriots' win Sunday also broke another NFL record. They have passed the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts for the most consecutive playoff appearances with 10. Their AFC East title guarantees them a playoff berth. New England now has won 10-plus games in 16 straight seasons, which ties the San Francisco 49ers' NFL record (1983-98) for the longest such streak.
It's safe to say the Sunday's victory truly was a historic one for the Patriots.
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