Patriots

NFL insider shares what rest of NFL thinks of Patriots as legit contender

Patriots

The New England Patriots have recently received a lot of national attention as a result of their five-game win streak that's vaulted them up the AFC standings.

In fact, many experts see the Patriots as a legit contender in the conference that's capable of making a run to the Super Bowl.

Just how legit does the rest of the NFL view the Patriots entering Sunday's Week 12 game against the AFC-leading Tennessee Titans? 

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Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer shared some interesting insight on NBC Sports Boston's "Patriots Pregame Live".

"I talked to a couple people who played against (the Patriots), and I think the best way to put this is it's a very well-conceived team," Breer explained. "I'll give you a direct quote from this morning: 'We saw them as the best-coached team we've seen since we got here. They do everything correct. They do everything disciplined. They have the perfect guys for it. They know exactly how and where they want to use them, and everything is done perfectly. It's a master-level class in coaching.'"

Breer added: "What was really fascinating about the conversations I had this morning is what the Patriots have done is basically counter to what the league is doing in a lot of ways. They've built a defense to stop the Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan type offense, which you're seeing across the league now.

"And then offensively, they've built a power-running game. They're one of the few teams in the league that runs 21-personnel, that's with a fullback and a tailback. They've got these big guys in the backfield with (Rhamondre) Stevenson and (Damien) Harris and (Brandon) Bolden. They're built to attack defenses that are built smaller and want to get after the passer. I think the best way to put it is it's a very well-coached and conceived team that's built to play against what's happening in the NFL in 2021."

 

The Patriots have one of the league's best defenses, a unit that entered Sunday allowing the fewest points per game. They also have an effective rushing attack and a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones that ranks among the most accurate passers in football.

These are several of the key ingredients to winning in the playoffs. So, if the Patriots continue to shine in those areas, opponents will have to take New England seriously as a legitimate threat to make a deep run in January.