There's little doubt New England is bound for the playoffs. They can officially punch their ticket to the postseason this Sunday. If the Pats take out Washington down at FedEx Field and the Chiefs upset the Jets, the AFC East title belongs to the Patriots. If they do clinch, this will be the ninth time in 11 seasons that they qualify for the playoffs. More amazingly, the Patriots have finished alone or tied for first place in the AFC East every year since 2001. They've been eliminated from playoff contention by tiebreakers (in 2002 and 2008) but the Patriots haven't finished out of first place in the division - record-wise - since 2000.
Mike Napoli's season-long struggles come to a head Saturday, as he strands five in three crucial spots, but the Sox will stick with him.