In his Football Morning in America column, Peter King shined a light on how much better the Patriots have been since 2003 compared to the rest of the AFC East.
As King points out, the Patriots have gone 189-51 (.788 winning percentage) since 2003 while the Jets, Dolphins and Bills have won 109, 106 and 102 games, respectively, and have winning percentages of .454, .442 and .425.
King’s conclusion that the Patriots have been a crapton better than their divisional opponents for a 15 seasons is spot-on even if it isn’t a revelation.
But be careful of taking the next step and inferring that the Patriots have built that gaudy winning percentage because they’ve fattened up on the AFC East.
MORE TOM E. CURRAN
Because the Patriots have won at almost the exact same rate against the rest of the NFL as they have against their division.
The Patriots are 71-19 since 2003 in the AFC East. That’s a .788 winning percentage. Outside the division, they are 118-32 (.786).
King goes on to add that, when the league realigned in 2002, it would have been so much more competitive if the Colts remained in the AFC East instead of shipping to the AFC South.
He’s right but only to a point. Since 2001, the Patriots are 14-5 against the Colts (.736). Throwing out the last six games since 2011 that Peyton Manning wasn’t there for, the Patriots were 8-5 (.615) against Indy (8-4 if you throw out the 2008 game when Matt Cassel started for New England).
The reason it’s important to give the full context of the Patriots domination inside their division and out is because the past 20 years have been a historic run. Historic runs deserve accurate historic perspective.
And too often -- particularly around here -- you get inch-deep analysis branding the AFC East as a parade of Tomato Canzzzzz the Patriots knock down like ducks in a shooting gallery when the truth is, the whole damn league’s been ducks in a shooting gallery for them since 2003.
Anticipating the reaction of “Butbutbut . . . J.P. Losman! Cleo Lemon! Geno Smith!”, the reality is the league is loaded with bum quarterbacks and slow-twitch head coaches. It’s not an AFC East thing.