The New England Patriots are turning many doubters into believers during their NFL-best six-game win streak.
The Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans 36-13 in Sunday's Week 12 game at Gillette Stadium. The victory resulted in New England taking over first place in the AFC East division and the No. 2 seed in the conference with a 8-4 record.
Many people in the national media have started to look at the possibility of the Patriots as the best team in the AFC. It's not a crazy concept when you look at the game film or the stats.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is already there. He explained why the Patriots are the conference's top team during a segment on Monday morning's episode of "First Take" (see video below).
The Patriots are hitting their stride at the perfect time, but they haven't clinched anything yet. There are still a couple tough games remaining on their regular season schedule.
The biggest matchups are against the Buffalo Bills, and those two games likely will decide which team wins the AFC East. The first meeting is in Week 13 when the Bills host the Patriots in Buffalo next Monday night. The second game is in Foxboro in Week 16.
The AFC is wide open. No team has established itself as the clear cut favorite. But when you look at the Patriots and their elite defense, effective run game and accurate quarterback, you have to like their chances of winning the division and potentially winning a couple playoff games in January.