The New England Patriots crushed the Indianapolis Colts 38-24 in a game that shouldn’t have even been that close at the final whistle. That means the Patriots have performed at their expected level over the past two weeks.
And that means that the Patriots are back to climbing up the charts.
The Patriots have their biggest challenge of the year next Sunday as they host the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, but both the offense and the defense seem to be playing their best football of the year- and there’s always hope when Tom Brady and company are playing at home.
Oh, and I just wanted to highlight how Marima predicted that the Patriots would win by 14 points over the Colts. Well done.
Around the AFC East:
(3-2) New England Patriots vs (5-0) Kansas City Chiefs
(3-2) Miami Dolphins vs (3-1) Chicago Bears
(2-3) New York Jets vs (1-4) Indianapolis Colts
(2-3) Buffalo Bills at (2-3) Houston Texans
(2-2-1) Pittsburgh Steelers at (4-1) Cincinnati Bengals
(3-2) Los Angeles Chargers at (2-2-1) Cleveland Browns
(2-3) Seattle Seahawks at (1-4) Oakland Raiders
(5-0) Los Angeles Rams at (2-3) Denver Broncos
(3-2) Jacksonville Jaguars at (2-3) Dallas Cowboys
(3-2) Baltimore Ravens at (3-2) Tennessee Titans
3rd - Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports): We’re seeing why Sony Michel was a first-round pick. He has 210 rushing yards and two touchdowns the past two games. If Michel is going to give the Patriots balance on offense, they’ll be very tough to beat.
3rd - MMQB Staff (SI): The Patriots seem to have returned to form since we dropped them to No. 11 a couple weeks ago. Now they get Kansas City at home on extra rest.
3rd - Experts (ESPN): Rest-of-season SOS ranking: 29th. The Patriots’ toughest remaining game will be in Week 15 in Pittsburgh, where FPI gives them a 45 percent chance to beat the Steelers. Tom Brady is 11-2 in his career against the Steelers, including the playoffs. That is the best record by a starting quarterback against the Steelers in the Super Bowl era (minimum 10 starts).
3rd - Joe Giglio (NJ.com): Julian Edelman is back, and the Patriots’ weapons (Rob Gronkowski, Edelman, Josh Gordon, Sony Michel, James White) suddenly looks formidable again.
4th - Nate Davis (USA Today): Last time they hosted K.C., New England’s banner-raising ‘17 opener, they were upset by Alex Smith and Co. What does Mahomes have in store?
4th - Expert Consensus (Bleacher Report): So, about the New England Patriots being in trouble.
As it turns out, the only folks in trouble may well be the rest of the AFC—again.
For the second straight week, the Patriots handled an inferior opponent with relative ease. This week it was a beaten-up Colts team that got a thumping in a game that really wasn’t as close as the score.
It was also a game in which New England showcased some new offensive weaponry. Josh Gordon made his first big catch as a Patriot, and rookie tailback Sony Michel piled up 110 total yards. Both had 34-yard touchdowns in the second half that blew this game open.
A so-so New England defense will be tested in a big way against the Kansas City Chiefs next week, but for now, it appears the Patriots are back on track after their September stumble.
Per Sobleski, we shouldn’t be surprised by any of it.
”The Patriots are who we thought they were,” he said, “and we never let them off the hook. Two straight impressive victories over the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts placed the Pats where they belong atop the AFC East with a 3-2 record. Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman’s additions to the lineup are a legitimate boost to Tom Brady’s surrounding cast.”
4th - Joshua Schrock (NESN): New England responded from its Week 3 flop against the Detroit Lions by pummeling the Miami Dolphins and handling the Indianapolis Colts in back-to-back weeks to set up a marquee matchup with the Chiefs. The return of Julian Edelman and emergence of Josh Gordon has made the Patriots’ offense much more dangerous than it was during the first three weeks of the season.
4th - Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): They’re back on track above .500, even with a slew of more defensive issues. Look for their true explosive and balanced offense to be unleashed against the Chiefs.
4th - Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk): The Patriots are Back is back.
4th - Staff (AP Pro32).
6th - Rebecca Toback (SB Nation): The Patriots are also on the rise after a win over the lowly Colts. It seemed like half of the Indianapolis roster was injured, so it’s hard to read too much into the game. Tom Brady had a 341-yard, three-touchdown, and two-interception performance to help the Patriots to a 38-24 victory.
6th - Mark Maske (Washington Post): Remember when the Patriots were facing an early-season crisis? That’s so two weeks ago. They look like themselves again, but their next two games are extremely interesting, starting with a home game against the Chiefs followed by a visit to Chicago.
7th - Bryan Fischer (Athlon Sports): It wasn’t long ago that there was concern across the league about this team. Sun rise, sun set and the Patriots are back on top of the division. Things won’t get any easier going forward but the adjustments are being made and the offense looks significantly more dangerous with the receiver corps at full strength.
7th - Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): They have righted things the past two weeks, but now comes a real proving game against the Chiefs.
AVERAGE RANK: 4.4 (+2.3)
SB NATION SAMPLING:
4th - Brandon Lee Gowton (BleedingGreenNation): Surprise, surprise. The Pats are back on top of the AFC East after an early season hiccup.
4th - David Fucillo (NinersNation): The New England Patriots are always in the mix.