Loss to Bills snaps crazy streak of success vs. AFC East originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
For years, the Patriots have acted like the bully on the schoolyard of the AFC East, dismissing any challengers with relative ease and maintaining their perch as the unchallenged team to beat.
The Bills already ended New England's NFL-record 11-year streak as AFC East champions -- and Buffalo's 38-9 win over the Patriots on Monday Night Football snapped another impressive streak of dominance.
It's the first time in 20 years that the Patriots have been swept by a division opponent, with the Bills following up their 24-21 win in Week 8 with another victory.
That 19-year streak wasn't just the longest in NFL history; it was an NFL record by a long shot, easily bettering 11-year streaks from the Dallas Cowboys (1971-81) and Los Angeles Rams (1970-80).
Over that stretch, the Patriots racked up a 91-25 record against divisional foes, including a 30-8 mark against the Jets, a 25-13 record against the Dolphins, and a 2-0 record against the Colts (yes, the streak started way back in 2001, the final year that Indianapolis was in the AFC East before realignment).
But New England didn't beat any divisional foe as much as the Bills, who were just 4-34 against the Patriots from 2001-2019 until knocking the bullies off their perch with two wins and a division title this season.
The defeat also snaps the Pats' 19-year streak with a record of .500 or better, with New England falling short of the Cowboys' NFL-record streak of 21 seasons from 1965-85.