It happens basically every season but the New England Patriots have won the AFC East again. For the 8th year in a row and 14th time since 2001 the Pats are the class of the AFC East. I just want to take a moment to recognize how big of a deal it is. Sure you can bash the AFC East as a whole but the Patriots do not slip up in the regular season. They've had a revolving door of key players come and go during this stretch. In 09 when the streak started Brady was throwing to Randy Moss, now it's Malcom Mitchell. They've had injuries, suspensions, fuck even lost a guy to a murder conviction yet year in and year out one thing you can basically guarentee is that the Patriots will be AFC East Champs. That is all thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
In the two years (2002, 2008) they didn't win the division since 2001 they had the same record as the team who did (9-7 in 02 and 11-5 in 08) and lost out on tie-breakers so technically they haven't had a team in the division finish with a better record than them since 2000. I know people will shit on how "bad" the AFC East is and that the accomplishment isn't a big deal and those people are simply idiots.
Sure, the AFC East gets made fun of because of the Patriots dominance but it's not their fault they haven't really been challenged since by anybody in a long time. Do you blame the hammer against the nail? You play who you're scheduled against, it's not their fault the other teams in the division have struggled. It's partly because of the Patriots, you can't just say the division is trash, it's partly trash because they all are basically guaranteed 2 losses from matchups with the Pats who have dominated the league for 15 years. Plus as division champs every season they have to play the division champs from the other divisions in the AFC so they actually usually have a tougher schedule than the rest of the teams in the division.
8 straight years of winning your division is something that has never been done before in the history of the NFL and should be celebrated. 8 straight years of doing anything well is a big deal. I can't even remember the last time I went 8 straight hours without making a complete fool out of myself.
It shows the level on dominance and consistency this franchise has had since Tom Brady took over in 2001. In seasons where he was the starter he's won the division every year but once. Who else can say that in any sports over that long of a time period? The Patriots play for Super Bowls so division titles aren't that big of a deal in Foxboro, but in order to win the Super Bowl you need to make the playoffs and winning your division guarantees that and a home playoff game. It's the first check mark on the way to a championship.
P.S. The Patriots have won more (or as many) division titles in this 8 year period than the following franchises have in their entire history.
New York Jets: 4
Baltimore Ravens: 4
Houston Texans: 3
Jacksonville Jaguars: 2
Detriot Lions: 4
Arizona Cardinals: 3
The Entire NFC South
Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants have all won their respective divisions 8 times.