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Patriots Clinch AFC East with Dolphins Loss

Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins got trampled by the Bills in Buffalo, handing the Patriots another AFC East division title. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

It’s not even halftime of their game against the Baltimore Ravens, but the New England Patriots have already clinched their fifth straight AFC East division title.

Looks like Bill Belichick didn’t have to look to Marky Mark for inspiration after all.

The assists goes to the Buffalo Bills for doing what the Patriots could not do last week, beating the Miami Dolphins to hand the division to New England. After the Patriots failed to clinch last week with a 24-20 loss in Miami, Buffalo did Tom Brady and company a favor by trouncing Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins at home. The loss dropped the Dolphins to 8-7, leaving them two games behind 10-4 New England with just one week left to play.

Miami still has a chance to make the playoffs as a wildcard with help from the Patriots today and the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 against Baltimore. The Patriots can now set their sights on a first round bye in the playoffs with a top-two seed by winning the next two weeks.

So far, so good in Baltimore, as New England is (as of now) up 17-0 midway through the second quarter.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing upĀ in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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