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Patriots clinch AFC East with tough win over Bills

The Patriots fought off a game Bills squad in Week 16 to secure another division title. We break it down.

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots gestures during the second half against the Buffalo Bills in the game at Gillette Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills gave the New England Patriots all they could hand, but Tom Brady and company had just enough left in the tank. The Patriots beat the Bills 24-17 and clinched the AFC East title — their 11th straight title. The Bills have clinched a wild card berth and likely will settle into the No. 5 spot heading into January.

The Bills defense gave the Patriots offense all sorts of fits much of the night. They forced a Rex Burkhead fumble on the opening drive and and while the Patriots scored a touchdown on their next drive, they were kept out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. Of course, that touchdown drive came with 5:06 remaining as Rex Burkhead bounced his way in for the go-ahead score.

Josh Allen was all over the place, as is par for the course for the young QB. He completed 13 of 26 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. He got the ball with a chance to secure a potential game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but came up short. He managed a goal to go situation, but the Patriots defense stiffened up and forced a turnover on downs.

With the win, the Patriots now have a chance to secure a first round bye. If the Chiefs lose to the Chicago Bears this weekend, the Patriots clinch a bye. If the Patriots beat Miami in Week 17, they secure a bye regardless of how the Chiefs do on Sunday.