The New England Patriots have the best record in the AFC following their win over the Buffalo Bills. Have they solidified themselves as Super Bowl contenders?
The New England Patriots received quite the gift on Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That meant that not only would a win over the Buffalo Bills give them first-place in the AFC East, but also the best record in the entire conference.
On a windy Monday night in Orchard Park, NY, the Patriots defeated the Bills 14-10 to have sole possession of the top seed in the AFC. But are they Super Bowl contenders?
Are the Patriots Super Bowl contenders?
If this game showed us anything, it is that Bill Belichick’s team is perhaps the best in the entire conference. They literally won after having rookie quarterback Mac Jones throw just three passes in the entire game!
Given the strong winds, Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels opted against passing the ball against the Bills. Having Jones throw in the strong wind could have spelled disaster for New England. So, they chose to run the ball at will, and it worked.
Damien Harris set the tone on the team’s third drive of the game, after he ran the ball 64-yards for the touchdown to set up New England’s 8-0 win. Since throwing the ball was out of the question, the Patriots ran the ball a total of 46 times for a total of 222 yards.
Of course, we can not look past the performance of New England’s defense. The Bills were in the red zone four times on the night, and they walked away with just 10 points. They have shown all year that they can shut down the passing game and can place tremendous pressure on the quarterback.
The Patriots look like the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, or at least make it to the Conference Championship Game. Teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers and the Bills have proven to be wildly inconsistent this year. New England’s main competition will be the Kansas City Chiefs, who are finally playing back to the level many expected them to throughout the season.