After a year of rebuilding, the New England Patriots are back where they belong: sitting atop the AFC East standings.
That’s right, folks. After the Bills’ embarrassing performance against the Colts on Sunday — coupled with the Patriots’ shutout of the Falcons on Thursday — New England has reclaimed the division lead over Buffalo.
In all honesty, it was a long time coming.
These teams have been trending in opposite directions for the better part of two months, so it was only a matter of time before the Pats leapfrogged the Bills.
The locker room must be buzzing to be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East for the first time in 2021, but Bill Belichick is doing everything in his power to make sure his players don’t get caught up in the moment.
During his weekly hit on WEEI Radio’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick delivered a vintage response about the new-look standings.
Bill Belichick isn’t interested in celebrating the Patriots taking over first place the AFC East
Did anyone really expect a different response from Belichick? The only time you’ll catch him smiling is after a playoff win. MAYBE.
In Belichick’s mind, there’s no reason for the Patriots to get too excited about supplanting Buffalo. These teams have yet to square off this campaign, so we technically still don’t know how they stack up against each other.
Furthermore, New England has a tough four-game stretch coming up that includes games against Tennessee, Buffalo, Indianapolis and Buffalo again.
See what we’re saying? Belichick is clearly taking a game-by-game approach. With a revenge game on deck vs the Titans, who defeated the Patriots in what turned out to be Tom Brady’s final game with the franchise in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, Belichick is entirely fixated on Sunday’s game.
However, just because Belichick doesn’t feel like gloating about his team’s recent run of success doesn’t mean we can’t do that for him, right?
Ever since their loss to Dallas, the Patriots are allowing just 10 points per game. That stretch of dominance has helped them climb all the way up to first in that department for the season at 16.1 per contest.
The offense, meanwhile, has struck an excellent balance between the passing game and rushing attack, which has really come on of late thanks to the emergence of rookie fourth-rounder Rhamondre Stevenson.
Haters will say Mac Jones isn’t attempting many downfield passes, but that isn’t exactly necessary if you’re moving the chains and have a suffocating defense waiting to terrorize your opponents.
The bottom line is that Patriots fans should enjoy the team’s stay at the top of the division for however long it lasts. Coming into the year, the Bills were expected to run away with their second straight AFC East crown, so the fact New England is even in the mix is a significant achievement in and of itself.
Don’t let Belichick trick you into thinking otherwise.