The New England Patriots’ 27-6 victory over the Houston Texans clinched a playoff spot for the 17th time in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team and the New York Giants’ victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday night gave the Patriots the AFC East title. The Patriots have now won the AFC East for seven straight seasons, the longest streak in AFC East division history. The Patriots join the Los Angeles Rams (7, 1973-79) for the most consecutive division titles in NFL history. The Patriots have won 13 of the last 15 division crowns and it is the 15th division title under the ownership of Robert Kraft.
Bill Belichick now has thirteen 11-win seasons, including 12 with the Patriots, tying Don Shula for the most 11-win seasons by a head coach.
The Patriots can become the second NFL team to win 12 games in six straight seasons with a win this week. Indianapolis had seven straight 12-win seasons from 2003-09.
WHERE TO WATCH
- Tavern on Broadway turns the volume all the way up on their flat screens and has an amazing football munchies menu.
- Nikolas Pizza runs a great deal. A large one topping pizza, a dozen wings and 60oz pitcher of beer or sangria for $21.95. Full volume on the tv’s and the direct tv package.
TELEVISION: This week’s game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Fouts as the color analyst. Evan Washburn will work the sidelines. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One Sports. John Sadak and Ross Tucker will call the game.
LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for thePatriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. Produced by Marc Cappello.
PATS AIM FOR 12-WIN PLATEAU
The Patriots have won at least 12 games nine times in team history, including five straight seasons from 2010-14. A win vs. Tennessee would tie Denver for third-most since the NFL merger.
12-WIN SEASONS SINCE 1970 MERGER
1. San Francisco 13
2. Dallas 11
3. Denver 10
4t. New England 9
4t. Pittsburgh 9
6. Indianapolis 8
The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers) will play for the 41st time since the two charter members of the American Football League began play in 1960. The Patriots and Oilers played twice each year from 1960-1969 in the AFL, and have played 20 times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. In those 20 post-merger games, the Patriots have a 13-7 record, including a 1-1 mark in playoff games.
New England leads the overall series, 23-16-1 and owns an 11-3 record against the Titans franchise since 1981.
The last time Tennessee traveled to New England came during the 2009 season when the Patriots beat Tennessee, 59-0, in a game played in the snow at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 18, 2009.
The last time the two teams played was on opening day of the 2012 season when the Patriots pulled away with a 34-13 victory on Sept. 9, 2012.
The Patriots and the Tennessee franchise met two times in the postseason. In 1978, The Houston Oilers beat New England 31-14 in an AFC Divisional matchup at Foxborough. The Patriots beat the Titans, 17-14, in a 2003 postseason game to advance to the AFC Championship game.
Tom Brady will face off against the Titans for the seventh time in his career. He has recorded a 5-1 record as a starter against Tennessee and has won each of his last five starts against the Titans including leading the Patriots to a victory from a fourth-quarter tie in the 2003 divisional playoffs and leading his team to a win from a fourth-quarter deficit in the 2003 regular season.
PATS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
New England has now qualified for the playoffs 23 times in its 56-year history. The Patriots have earned 17 playoff berths in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths the team earned in its first 34 years of existence.Read
PLAYOFF SEASONS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots 17
Indianapolis Colts 16
Green Bay Packers 16
Pittsburgh Steelers 13
Philadelphia Eagles 12Read