Bills End Patriots' 11-Year Streak As AFC East Division Champions


There will be a new AFC East Division champion for the first time in more than a decade.

The New England Patriots have been mathematically eliminated from division title contention following the Buffalo Bills' 26-15 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, ending the Patriots' 11-year streak as division champions.

Buffalo improved its overall record to 10-3 on Sunday, which mathematically eliminates the Patriots, who are currently 6-7 overall. The Bills hold a two-game lead and a head-to-head advantage over the Miami Dolphins (8-5) with three games remaining, including a January 3 matchup against the Dolphins to end the regular season.

Buffalo will also face the Denver Broncos (December 19) on the road this weekend and the Patriots at Foxborough next weekend (December 28). The Dolphins, who were the last team other than the Patriots to win the division in 2008, will host New England this weekend (December 20) and face the Las Vegas Raiders on the road next weekend (December 26.)

The Patriots won the AFC East during 17 of the last 19 years, beginning in 2001 during former quarterback Tom Brady's rookie season. The only two seasons New England hadn't won the division were 2002 and 2008, when Brady experienced a season-ending injury in Week 1.

The 6-time Super Bowl champion quarterback signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March after spending his entire career with the Patriots.

Photo: Getty Images