Patriots

Patriots Talk Podcast: Have Pats proven they're the best team in AFC?

Patriots

The New England Patriots are riding high with a six-game win streak and the best point differential in the NFL.

It's been quite a turnaround for Bill Belichick's team. Just a month-and-a-half ago the Patriots were a 2-4 squad headed for a top 10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Fast forward six weeks and New England is a legit contender in the AFC and the No. 2 seed entering Week 13.

Can we actually call the Patriots the best team in the conference after their impressive 36-13 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday?

Curran: As flaws emerge in contenders, Pats keep walking the walk

It was one of many topics discussed by Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry on a new episode of NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Talk Podcast.

"This is the best team in the American Football Conference. Period. New paragraph," Perry said.

"They're just there now. It's not just because they beat the Titans, who were the No. 1 seed and now the Patriots knocked them from that. It's the depth across the roster, and not just in terms of the individual talent but they can beat you in a number of different ways."

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"I go back to some of the Bill Belichick's old standbys, things we've heard year after year, and this one is fresh in my mind because we've been talking a lot about the identity of this team and the physicality with which they play and their toughness, and that's how they want to play.

 

"Belichick says you need three things to be a tough team. You need to run the ball, stop the run and cover kicks. And I thought they only did the first two of those -- one of them they didn't do well at all -- they could not stop the run. They couldn't run effectively until late in the game. But they covered kicks.

"The other Bill Belichick motto that stands up after this one is you have to learn first how not to lose the game before you can win it. So, they did a great job covering kicks and not losing the game, and they blew out the No. 1 seed in the AFC. There's just too many different ways for them to have success when they're playing cleanly like this. When it's a nice clean game and they're playing disciplined the way Belichick wants them to. These are some of the results we're going to get."

Next up for the Patriots is a Week 13 matchup with the rival Buffalo Bills on "Monday Night Football". It's one of two meetings with the Bills remaining on the schedule. We'll learn a lot about the Patriots' status as a top team in the AFC based on the result of that showdown in Buffalo next week.

Also in this episode: Curran and Perry discuss how much did the offseason self-scouting improve this 2021 Patriots team, the team forcing so many turnovers on defense, and several other topics.