The New England Patriots are a legitimate Super Bowl contender

Mac Jones #10 and Nelson Agholor #15 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 and Nelson Agholor #15 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Well that was a wild weekend of football. Despite not even playing on Sunday, the New England Patriots started the day as a Wild Card team that was on the rise. They ended the day sitting a top the AFC East, and now find themselves with a path to the top of the AFC as a whole. That’s a pretty good weekend if you ask me.

After dismantling the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 on Thursday night football, the Patriots sat back and watched as the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans both unexpectedly lost games on Sunday afternoon. With the Bills loss, the Pats moved into the #1 seed in the AFC East. With the Titans loss, a path has been opened for New England to compete for the top seed in the AFC considering Tennessee is set to come into town for an exciting Week 12 matchup.

The Patriots now sit in the #3 seed in the AFC, with just the Titans and the Baltimore Ravens sitting ahead of them (the Ravens nearly lost to the Chicago Bears yesterday too). It’s been clear for awhile now that New England would contend for a playoff spot, but it seems like they can set their sights on larger goals now. They are leading their own division, and seemingly have a shot to contend for a first round bye in the playoffs over the next few weeks.

Many have been skeptical to buy into the hype surrounding the Patriots, but it’s time to put that to rest. This team is good, and while they may not be as good as they seem considering they have been blowing subpar opponents out of the water, it’s clear they are one of the top teams in the game right now. It’s time to acknowledge what we have all been reluctant to acknowledge during this team’s recent run; the New England Patriots are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Why the New England Patriots should be considered a Super Bowl contender

There are admittedly many reasons to not buy into the hype surrounding the Patriots currently. Heck, many people still haven’t. Even after somehow only scoring six points against the Jacksonville Jaguars and getting blown out by the Indianapolis Colts, the Bills are still the consensus favorite to come out on top in the AFC East. The main reason for that is the Bills and Patriots still play each two times before the end of the season.

New England does have a pretty tough remaining schedule, with the two Buffalo games now set to become extremely crucial in deciding the AFC East. New England also has a pair of tough games against the Titans and Colts on the docket, but they do finish off the season with two winnable games against the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins.

But there’s also no reason to believe that any of these teams should be heavily favored over New England. The Titans looks as vulnerable as ever, and their struggles on both sides of the ball against the previously 1-8 Texans proves as much. The Bills have looked like a mess when playing any sort of competent team recently, and the Colts really have no idea when their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, is going to show up or wilt under pressure.

Regardless of who this team is playing the rest of the way out, they have looked capable of beating any team they line up against. Sure, they have picked up some dominant wins over non-playoff teams (four of their seven wins have come against the Texans, the Falcons, and the New York Jets twice), but they have hung around in every game they have played this season.

What happens if Damien Harris doesn’t fumble the ball in the red zone against the Dolphins in Week 1? What happens if Nick Folk hits his 56 yard field goal attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 that would have given New England a two point lead with less than a minute left? What if Mac Jones doesn’t throw a pick six to Trevon Diggs in Week 6, and the Patriots are able to hold onto their three point lead for the remaining two minutes?

Who knew that the team’s play in their losses would be a point of solace for this team so late into the season. You can make an argument that New England is really only a few plays away from being a 10-1 team, and realistically, they are. I’d be willing to bet if they played any of those games next week, the Patriots would prevail.

The Patriots have learned from their losses and they are better because of it. Jones and the passing game continue to grow each passing week. The running game, led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, are trampling teams regularly nowadays, and they are only getting stronger. The defense as a whole is one of the best units in the league, and they now lead the league with the fewest points allowed per game this season.

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The New England Patriots are a team that has finally found their stride. This team could have withered away after suffering some demoralizing losses to open the season, but they used the experiences from those games to only get better. Those games have prepared them for the upcoming stretch of games they are set to partake in.

The NFL looks wide open this season. There really isn’t one team that has stood above the rest, and asserted themselves as the frontrunner for the Super Bowl this season. It’s anyone’s race, and the Patriots are moving towards the front of the pack, picking up steam in the process.

If this team can win their division, or even pick up the #1 seed in the AFC, watch out. People may not believe in them right now, but you can bet nobody is going to want to run into a Bill Belichick coached Patriots team when the playoffs roll around. The New England Patriots have proven they are one of the best teams in the league this season, and now it’s time to take them seriously and refer to them as a legit Super Bowl contender.