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Patriots could clinch ninth straight AFC East title against Dolphins tonight

New England is on its way to yet another division crown.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The New England Patriots did not bring some of their core players to Florida to play against the Miami Dolphins tonight. However, the defending world champions brought something else: hats and T-shirts. Despite the Buffalo Bills winning their snowy overtime matchup against the Indianapolis Colts yesterday, New England has a chance to clinch the AFC East later today.

Beating the Dolphins would secure the Patriots their 19th divisional title, increasing their own lead in the AFC East's all-time standings (since the AFL-NFL merger). They currently look like this:

New England Patriots: 18 division titles

Miami Dolphins: 13 division titles

Buffalo Bills: 7 division titles

Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts: 6 division titles

New York Jets: 2 division titles

A win tonight would also give the Patriots their ninth straight division title in a row. The team would extend its own record – one it set with last year by breaking a title-tie with the Los Angeles Rams – in the process and simultaneously also tie the 1975-1983 Dallas Cowboys and the 2002-2010 Indianapolis Colts with a record ninth straight playoff berth.

Of course, most importantly is that a victory would keep New England in good position to earn a first-round playoff bye this season. Furthermore, the team would keep up with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the race for homefield advantage throughout the AFC's portion of the playoff tournament.