The Patriots (11-2) clinched their record-tying seventh AFC East title late Monday night thanks to the Dolphins loss to the Giants. The L.A. Rams won the NFC West seven straight year from 1973-79.
The Miami defeat affected the tie-breaker scenarios and made it what Tedy Bruschi called a "hats-and-t-shirts" night in Patriots Nation, even if most, including quarterback Tom Brady, were somewhat unaware of the key season goal being checked off. Brady joked in his Tuesday morning interview on WEEI that he didn't know the team could clinch Monday night and didn't find out until he read NFL.com this morning.
New England is now guaranteed one of the top three seeds in the AFC playoffs, but has yet to clinch either a bye or the No. 1 overall seed. If the Patriots win out, though, the defending Super Bowl champs would indeed claim the top seed in the conference for what would be the sixth time since 2001.
The Patriots will host the Titans Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.