by Scott Benson

The New England Patriots captured their fifth straight AFC East title, and the first berth awarded to the 2007 NFL playoffs, when the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 36-14 this afternoon in Jacksonville.

The clinch, which comes some four hours before the Pats take the Gillette Stadium field against the Eagles, ties an NFL record for earliest division clinch since the 16 game schedule was instituted nearly 30 years ago.

The fifth straight AFC East crown is also record for that division. It is the sixth division championship for the Patriots this decade.