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The Patriots' recipe for perfection starts with the AFC East

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New England has now won 28 of its last 32 games against Buffalo. It's a big part of the reason Bill Belichick's team has now rattled off 13 seasons with at least 10 wins and is eyeing a second 16-0 run.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - It's like pulling a lever and watching coins roll. Or parachuting and landing on the X. Or mining gold and instantly striking. It's wacky how the New England Patriots continue to snatch haul after haul in the AFC East. The Patriots have once again looted the division. They have made a mockery of the "race."  The Buffalo Bills here on Monday night at Gillette Stadium were the latest carcass. The Patriots won 20-13.

The Patriots are 10-0 and four of their victories have come against their AFC East toys (Buffalo twice and the Jets and Dolphins once). The Patriots end the regular season at the Jets and then at the Dolphins. If New England is 14-0 by then, you can bet they will pull that lever, parachute those games, mine their way right to 16-0.

They feast on these AFC East teams.

Just when Buffalo thought they had it, they didn't. Just when the Patriots looked shaky, they stood. Just when all the big plays of the game were there to be claimed, guess which team did?

It's old stuff now, legendary stuff. New England has won 28 of the last 32 games in this series. New England's 69 total victories over Buffalo are the most the Patriots have over any team. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won more games (25) and thrown more touchdown passes (62) against the Bills than any other opponent.

As Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick is 73-25 vs. the AFC East.

Little wonder he started there, right there, after one more Bills conquest.

"Always a hard-fought division game with Buffalo, but always good to win in the division, always good to beat Buffalo," Belichick said.

Winning in the division. It is the bedrock of the Patriots success.

I had an NFC general manager once tell me: "Hell, if we were in that division over all of the years that the Patriots have been killing it, we would have been feeling pretty nice about that, too. Those teams they are roasting over there have been horrible for a long time."

Many NFL executives feel that way about the Patriots rumble through these daises. But give it up to New England that their AFC East scorched trails have not led to oblivion. Those division obliterations have been forays to championships. To Super Bowls. Six total appearances for Belichick and Brady; four of those ending in world championships.

They are focused on molding No. 5.

"But, like always, we've come up short many times being here when you think you've got them by the ropes, but at the end of the day, they find ways to win, and that's what championship teams do," Bills head coach Rex Ryan said, in a jumble, as he was humbled again by the Patriots. "And we're not at that level right now, but ..."

He said something next about promising to work to get there, but we'll save that for another day -- or decade. Ryan has been taking his shots at the Patriots for a while now, first with the Jets, now with the Bills. To his defense's credit, his unit limited New England to its fewest points scored this season and to half the total (40) Buffalo allowed in the first meeting in Week 2.

But so what? The Patriots won again. They won through sloppy officiating, an odd inadvertent whistle play, a rare Brady interception and a rarer Stephen Gostkowski missed field goal attempt.

Buffalo is 1-13 in Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002.

"Hey now, I wasn't here for all 13 of those losses," said Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham, a fourth-year pro, about his franchise's futility in Gillette Stadium. That is enough time, however, for Bradham to sense the Bills/Patriots tale.

To sense the Patriots/AFC East plot.

"There are so many plays we should have made," Bills running back LeSean McCoy said about this game that New England led 3-0 and Buffalo tied 3-3, about a Bills field goal attempt just before halftime that hit the right upright that was followed by a Patriots 62-yard touchdown drive to lead 10-3 at halftime, about Buffalo tying the game 10-10 in the third quarter but New England scoring the game's next 10 points.

So close. So Buffalo.

"Mishaps," Buffalo's Leodis McKelvin said about his team's mistakes and his own, late, third-quarter muffed punt that led to a Patriots field goal.

Patriots cornerback Malcom Butler said his team dominates in the division because it plays without fear.

"This is only my second year," Butler said. "But I do know that we have a team that doesn't just stick our foot in the water. We are going to try to play the game for 60 minutes. Each and every play, take it."

Sometimes it's just being smarter.

Brady was hit on at least 15 plays in this game. Of Brady's 39 passes, 19 were incompletions. Sometimes he just threw the ball into the ground. He knew. He was not going to let the Bills turn their pressure into a barrel of game-killing turnovers. He was content to strike when he could, fold when forced.

"A very smart quarterback," Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes said. "He was always thinking about living for the next play."

He is always thinking about the next game. That would be against the Broncos on Sunday night in Denver. Another chance to re-work kinks, massage new parts as injuries pile and as victories do, too. It is another chance for New England to keep pace with Carolina Panthers as both teams reach for 11-0 records. Carolina is at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.

There is something marvelous about perfection -- even when it is not all perfect.

It's all there for the Patriots, another rub-your-eyes season born from AFC East dominance.

The Patriots know each AFC East team well. They study them hard. They find what works. They get to it.