AFC playoff clinching: Bengals take AFC North, Titans win AFC South; Bills, Patriots clinch berths

Multiple teams clinched spots in the AFC playoffs in Week 17 as the conference's postseason picture began to crystalize Sunday.

The Bengals clinched the AFC North with perhaps their biggest win of the season Sunday as they knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs with a last-minute field goal to secure a 34-31 win.

The Tennessee Titans clinched the AFC South title on the strength of their 34-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The Dolphins' loss also was cause for celebration in New England as the Patriots clinched a playoff spot following their 50-10 blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Buffalo Bills punched a third consecutive trip to the postseason by virtue of their 29-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens' last-minute loss to Los Angeles Rams.

Securing their first playoff berth and AFC North title since 2015, the Bengals also locked up their first season of double-digit wins since that same year. Cincinnati is now on a three-game winning streak that has seen them emerge from a topsy-turvy AFC North with the division championship.

In capturing the division and clinching a playoff spot, Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and head coach Zac Taylor have truly arrived and they did it by knocking off the two-time reigning AFC champions.

Tennessee has now won back-to-back AFC South crowns for the first time since the division's inception in 2002.

With the title-clinching win, Tennessee has also booked a trip to the playoffs for the third season in a row, which is a first since the franchise arrived in Tennessee in 1997 and a first for the club since a run of seven consecutive playoff appearances from 1987 to 1993.

The Pats are back in after missing the playoffs in 2020, which snapped an 11-season streak of making the postseason.

Bill Belichick's squad also snapped a two-game skid with Sunday's victory and gave the all-time great coach his 20th season with double-digit victories, tying him with Hall of Famer Don Shula for the most in history.

The Bills' playoff trip marks the first time that the franchise has made it to three consecutive postseasons and had three straight double-digit win seasons since the Bills' run of four Super Bowl trips in a row concluded in the 1993 season. Buffalo went to the playoffs in six consecutive seasons from 1988 to 1993 and had double-digit victories from 1990 to '93 consecutively.

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