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Sunday, December 2, 2012
Pats wrap up AFC East crown

By Field Yates

MIAMI -- With a 23-16 win over the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots clinched their fourth consecutive AFC East division title and 10th under coach Bill Belichick.

The Patriots already have swept season series with the Jets and Bills, and while the Dolphins could still finish with an identical record to the Patriots and even the season series in Week 17, they would lose the division due to the division record tiebreaker.

The division crown ensures the Patriots of a home playoff game in January, although the team still is in the race for a top-two record within the AFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs. Entering Sunday, the Patriots trailed both the Texans (10-1) and Ravens (9-2) in the standings.