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As Rex Ryan knows, Patriots just keep dominating the AFC East

bradybelichick

Bills coach Rex Ryan has been talking up his team this offseason, saying Buffalo’s offseason moves -- and some offseason departures from New England -- have closed the gap in the AFC East.

But Ryan acknowledges that until the Bills actually get to the top, the Patriots are the kings.

“New England is perched up there, they’ve won like 14 of 15,” Ryan said. “They’re clearly the team to beat, but we’re coming after them.”

Ryan is actually overstating New England’s dominance a bit. The Patriots haven’t won 14 of 15 division titles. They’ve won 12 of the last 15, failing to win the AFC East in 2000 (before Tom Brady was the starting quarterback), 2002 (Brady’s second season as the starting quarterback) and 2008 (when Brady was lost for the season with a torn ACL). But there’s no question that the Patriots have dominated the division -- to a greater extent than any other team has dominated any other division.

And the flip side is, Ryan’s new team has fallen far short. The Bills are one of just four NFL teams (along with the Browns, Jaguars and Lions) that haven’t won a division title under the current eight-division format.

Here’s how many times each team has won each division since the divisions were realigned in 2002:

AFC East
Patriots 11
Jets 1
Dolphins 1
Bills 0

AFC North
Steelers 6
Ravens 4
Bengals 3
Browns 0

AFC South
Colts 9
Titans 2
Texans 2
Jaguars 0

AFC West
Chargers 5
Broncos 5
Chiefs 2
Raiders 1

NFC East
Eagles 6
Giants 3
Cowboys 3
Washington 1

NFC North
Packers 8
Bears 3
Vikings 2
Lions 0

NFC South
Panthers 4
Buccaneers 3
Falcons 3
Saints 3

NFC West
Seahawks 7
49ers 3
Cardinals 2
Rams 1

Even if Ryan is right that the Bills are closing the gap, it’s a huge gap to close. No team in the NFL dominates its division like the Patriots.