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Patriots clinch AFC East title with Dolphins' loss on 'MNF'

The Patriots have clinched their seventh straight AFC East title.

The New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, which is great for their hopes in the NFC East, but it also means the New England Patriots finally managed to seal off the AFC East and clinch the division for the seventh consecutive year.

New England (11-2) could have clinched the division with a win over the Tennessee Titans in their next game, as the New York Jets (8-5) would be unable to catch them. The Patriots and Jets could finish with the same record, and they would split their season series because they play each other in Week 16 and the Patriots have already beaten them.

But going down the list of tiebreakers, the Patriots would own the sixth one -- strength of schedule -- which would give them the division win. Miami's loss to the Giants on Monday gave the Patriots at least a tie in the strength-of-victory tiebreaker with the Jets, which is the fifth tiebreaker.

The Patriots currently hold the top seed and a first-round bye in the AFC. The Cincinnati Bengals (10-3) and Denver Broncos (10-3) are right behind them.