The New England Patriots are riding high as winners of five consecutive games -- the longest active win streak in the NFL -- and a defense that's playing at an elite level.
The team's recent success has helped it rise up the leaderboard in several key stats, including point differential.
In fact, the Patriots will enter Week 12 with the league's top point differential at plus-123. New England's point differential over the past five games is an astounding plus-125 (175-50).
Here's a look at the top 10 teams in this stat through 11 weeks.
|1||New England Patriots||123||7-4|
|5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||67||6-3|
|8||Los Angeles Rams||44||7-3|
The Patriots have given up just 13 points over the last three games, including a 25-0 shutout win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11. New England's 177 points allowed overall are the second-fewest in the league, a single point behind the Bills' 176.
Conversely, the Patriots are the third-highest scoring team in the league at 300 points.
The fact that the Patriots lead the league in point differential with a rookie quarterback and a roster with a lot of players on both sides of the ball who weren't in New England last season is pretty impressive. It's a testament to head coach Bill Belichick and his staff for not only adding quality players in the offseason but also finding ways to maximize their production.
Even in losses the Patriots haven't played terribly. Only one of their four defeats was by more than a single score (28-13 to the Saints in Week 3). The other three losses were by a combined nine points.
The Patriots are a legit contender in the AFC, and if they win their next two games, there could be a familiar face atop the conference standings entering New England's Week 14 bye.