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Broncos, Steelers, Raiders lose, leaving Patriots all alone in 1st place atop the AFC

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New England is now in sole possession of first place in the AFC.

On Thursday night, the Denver Broncos fell to the San Diego Chargers with a final score of 21-13.

On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the hapless Miami Dolphins 30-15.

On Sunday evening, the Oakland Raiders were upset by the Kansas City Chiefs 26-10.

Oh, and the New England Patriots smoked the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17, leaving the Patriots with the best record in the AFC at 5-1. The Patriots were the only team to look particularly good in week 6, too.

The Broncos defense looks vulnerable to running backs and tight ends, while the offense seems limited to passes within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Steelers QB Ben Rothelisberger suffered a knee injury, WR Antonio Brown looks to be the only viable wide receiver in the offense, and Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi rampaged to the tune of 204 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on just 25 carries.

And the Raiders put up just 10 points as they lost their rushing game and relied purely on WR Amari Cooper to move the ball down the field.

The Patriots are a complete team. On offense, QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski are playing their best football, while the team has six players with 275+ yards from scrimmage on the season.

The Patriots can run the ball behind their new offensive line and they can play with their two elite tight ends. WR Julian Edelman hasn’t been able to have an impact (I think his foot’s still bothering him), but once he’s ready to go the offense will be even more dangerous.

New England also has the #1 ranked defense in points allowed per game in the AFC and #4 defense in the NFL, behind just the Seahawks, Vikings, Eagles. The Patriots have done this without LB Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower on the field at the same time since week 1.

This is as complete a Patriots squad we’ve seen under head coach Bill Belichick. And while the other teams in the AFC are looking for help, the Patriots already have the answers on the roster. It’s just a matter of time before everyone is fully adjusted, integrated, and able to perform on a weekly basis.

AFC Standings

  1. (5-1) New England Patriots
  2. (4-2) Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. (4-2) Oakland Raiders
  4. (3-2) Houston Texans - Playing the Colts tonight
  5. (4-2) Denver Broncos
  6. (4-2) Buffalo Bills

In the hunt: (3-2) Kansas City Chiefs, (3-3) Tennessee Titans, (3-3) Baltimore Ravens