The New England Patriots didn't need to step on the field to win the AFC East on Sunday, but they made a playoff statement anyway.
The Pats locked up the division by virtue of Miami's loss to Buffalo, handing New England their 11th title in Bill Belichick's 14 seasons but sent a message to the rest of the conference with a thorough 41-7 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
For a team that was floundering after a tough loss to the divisional-rival Dolphins, the Patriots bounced back in a strong way by putting together their most complete football game of the season and showing that they can pull out a tough win on the road.
It was as impressive of a victory for the Pats as they've had in recent memory, even if it wasn't as much of a blowout as the score might indicate. But it wasn't all positive coming out of Baltimore.
Devin McCourty left the game and did not return due to a head injury. McCourty is now the third defensive captain to go down with an injury this season. Shane Vereen also exited in the first half and did not return after suffering a groin injury.
But the Pats remain in the driver's seat for a bye and have to be feeling pretty good about themselves after beating the rival Ravens.
What did we learn about the Pats and their fortunes in the now-assured playoff spot?
Here are the takeaways!