The New England Patriots are 7-3 and sit atop the AFC East entering Week 12 of the 2018 NFL season.
But six wins in the last seven games and victories over several quality opponents were only good enough for the Patriots to land at No. 7 on Nick Wright's list of the top Super Bowl contenders, which he unveiled during Wednesday's episode of "First Things First" on FOX Sports 1.
What's more is the explanation Wright gave for the Pats being at No. 7. They're only on the list "out of respect." Check out his reasoning in the video below.
Wright's co-host, former NFL wide receiver and Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter, quickly chimed in "already you're starting off wrong' after hearing Wright's explanation for the Patriots' ranking.
Recency bias appears to be strong in this instance. Wright seems to be putting a little too much of an emphasis on New England's last game -- a bad 34-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on the road in Week 10. Sure, that was a disappointing loss for the Patriots on several fronts, but they still have wins over the Kansas City Chiefs (Wright's No. 2 team), Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the AFC South-leading Houston Texans and the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears (Wright's No. 6 team).
The Bears have a really good defense, but putting them ahead of the Patriots on a list of the top Super Bowl contenders is baffling. Does anyone really trust Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the playoffs? The Los Angeles Chargers also are surprisingly ahead of the Patriots on Wright's list, despite Philip Rivers' lack of playoff success, Anthony Lynn's poor coaching and a seemingly never-ending run of bad luck with kickers.
The Patriots are far from a perfect team, but with the best coach/quarterback combo in league history and a soft schedule to end the regular season, you have to like their chances of at least getting back to the AFC Championship Game for an eighth consecutive season.
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