Bill Belichick’s Division Championships Worth Celebrating And Other Leftover Patriots Thoughts

December 3, 2012 10:45 AM
Bill Belichick’s Division Championships Worth Celebrating And Other Leftover Patriots Thoughts
" BOSTON (CBS) – Most sane fans in this region won’t be flocking to sporting goods stores today to scoop up all of the “Division Champions” gear following the Patriots’ AFC East-clinching victory on Sunday afternoon against the Dolphins, and with good reason. Around here, success is celebrated in February, not early December, and the hope is for much more than a division title.

Perhaps, though, the Patriots’ winning their division for the fourth straight year and 10th time in 13 seasons under Bill Belichick should be savored a little bit more.

That doesn’t mean New England fans need to lessen their expectations, but it can be easy at times to forget just how much of a struggle it used to be to win the AFC East. Back in 2001, it took a come-from-behind, one-point victory over the Jets in Week 12 and a narrow 20-13 win over Miami in Week 15 (a game you might remember for the 23-yard completion from Kevin Faulk to Tom Brady) to secure that division title. That AFC East title was the Patriots’ first since they were back-to-back champs in ’96 and ’97, but before that, there was a 10-year gap between division championships "

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