New England Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: The Buffalo Bills run onto the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Bills Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

It’s the end of an era in the AFC East.

Now that the Buffalo Bills have earned their 10th win of the season after toppling the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, it means the Patriots can no longer catch them for the AFC East crown. It ends a streak of 11 straight division titles in Foxboro, and 17 in 19 years – a run that really shouldn’t ever be matched again.

The actual winner of the 2020 AFC East is still to be determined. The Dolphins are 8-5, so they could still pass the Bills in the final three weeks of the season. Buffalo owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, but the teams play each other in Week 17, so there’s a chance we have a final-week showdown for the division.

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And unbelievably, that game would not involve the Patriots.

New England heads to Miami in Week 15 and hosts Buffalo in Week 16, so they can still play “spoiler” for either team as far as the AFC East goes. But for the first time since 2000, the division won’t be in play for the Patriots this late in the season. It’ll also be the first time since 2000 that any other team in the AFC East will finish with more wins than the Patriots.

If the Bills win the division, it would be their first title since 1995. The Dolphins last won the AFC East in 2008.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at