Monday 19 March 2018 / 11:46 AM


Every week, I tune in to watch some quality football by the New England Patriots. The Belichick-Brady era is one that will be talked about for generations after both inevitably retire, and we get to watch how this story will end. Brady’s legacy has already been cemented and there is no doubt he is going to be a Hall of Famer, but he is the type of guy to want to ride off into the sunset with at least another Super Bowl trophy. The Patriots’ 41-25 victory over the Buffalo Bills was a step in the right direction.

Brady’s extensive résumé aside, the Patriots had unfinished business with their AFC rivals that concluded this weekend. The 16-0 loss the Bills in Week 4 is the only blemish on what could have been an undefeated season, and the Pats aren’t the type of organization to let lightning hit twice.

The Patriots are loaded with a stacked arsenal of offensive weapons. Brady launched a picture-perfect 53-yard pass to a nearly tripled-covered Chris Hogan for a touchdown in the first quarter, and would also connect with Rob Gronkowski for his 69th career touchdown. The TD list went on to include Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. LeGarrette Blount chimed in to bring the Patriots to five touchdowns for the game.

This game was especially important because it validated that the AFC is Pats territory with a long lead. They just took out one of the few teams in the conference that remotely had a chance of beating them in the playoffs. The only AFC contender they have yet to play is AFC East rival, the New York Jets, who just barely squeezed by with a 31-28 victory over the now 0-8 Cleveland Browns.

But even if the Patriots stifle the AFC, that doesn’t mean beating the top contender from the NFC is going to be a walk in the park, right? The Patriots will take their BYE week before playing the Seahawks – who aren’t looking at all like the Super Bowl XLVIII champions – on November 13. I could see a Patriots-Vikings Super Bowl, or maybe even a Patriots-Cowboys decider, or a Brady-Wentz matchup in a Patriots-Eagles showdown – but the Patriots are the far superior team in any of those hypotheticals.

Sure, the majority of teams are rounding off in mid-season form, but I’ve seen too many blunders and unfortunate situations happen for the Patriots to not look like the obvious choice. At the start of the season, I thought we were going to see either the Broncos or Panthers play at the minimum a dominating role in the regular season, but both teams are hardly even in the conversation anymore. The Panthers have the same record as the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that’s saying something.

There are enough games left in the season that even the Patriots could fall off during with a cruciate injury, but even without Brady they are able to beat most teams. Jimmy Garoppolo could also use more playing time, so it wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to the Patriots.

A few games to watch for are the Patriots-Broncos on December 18, where the Patriots will try to get revenge on the Broncos ruining their perfect season in 2015-2016, and the Pats-Dolphins on January 1, since the Dolphins have a tendency to beat the Patriots for some reason. The rest of the season looks like smooth sailing for the Patriots, at least for the next month’s worth of games.

It will be interesting to watch how the pieces fall for the other 31 teams in the NFL, but the Patriots seem to be at the helm of their destiny.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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