When I say the words “Super Bowl contender”, which team is the first one to come to mind? My guess is the Bills, Cardinals, Rams, Buccaneers, Packers, Titans or the Cowboys. And after their performance last week, maybe you’re even thinking of the Chiefs. Well no, I’m not talking about any of these teams.
The team I’m thinking of is the New England Patriots. On paper, they are definitely not the most appealing. They have a 6-4 record, they have a below average receiving core and they have losses to teams like the Dolphins and the Saints. However, they also have a coach who has won six Super Bowls, a great defense and the offensive rookie of the year, Mac Jones, who will be great for years to come.
First, let’s take a look at their losses so far this season. In week 1, they fell 17-16 to the Miami Dolphins which, I will admit, is pretty ugly. I will give them the benefit of the doubt here and say that this was their first game with a new quarterback, so they were bound to struggle no matter who they were playing. In week 3, they lost to the Saints who have undoubtedly been a very inconsistent team this season. In this one, the Saints actually showed up and beat them 28-13. The Patriots then lost again in week 4, but this time to a Super Bowl contender in the Buccaneers. They kept this game very close, only losing 19-17 and Mac Jones once again had a great game. Their most recent loss came in week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys who have arguably been a top five team this year. Again, the Patriots kept it close, only losing 35-29.
Losses can tell you a lot about a team, but wins will tell you even more and New England has had some very impressive wins. Their first two wins came against the Jets and the Texans, which admittedly aren’t great wins. Their last four wins, however, will tell you something different about them. In the past four weeks, New England has defeated the Jets, Chargers, Panthers and Browns. In these four games, Mac Jones has six touchdowns and the Patriots have averaged 37.5 points per game while their defense has allowed only 12.5 points per game. I think New England is finally starting to figure things out and is becoming very dangerous. If they do not end up winning the AFC East (which will be very tough with Buffalo in there), they will earn the number one wild card spot and could make it as far as the Super Bowl. Personally, I see them making it to the AFC championship at the very least. All they have to do is continue playing the way they are now.