It seemed as though the New England Patriots were destined to finish close to the bottom of the AFC East in 2020. But what does the AFC East look heading into Week 11?
The Patriots upset the Ravens in Week 10 in what can only be described as one of the most interesting games for New England fans so far in 2020.
Throughout the game, the weather played a factor with the rain reaching epic levels. But New England walked away with the victory and it's a major one. They didn't just beat a no-name team. The Patriots stifled 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's explosive offense.
Besides giving fans hope, New England's Week 10 win got them closer to .500 - sporting a 4-5 record now.
Unfortunately, they didn't do a lot to change the AFC East.
The Bills, at 7-3, are still at the top of the division, but they suffered a brutal loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 by a score of 32-30. Losing on a Hail Mary can defeat a team and disrupt their season. Buffalo needs to bounce back with a win against the Chargers in Week 12 if they want to stay atop the division.
With New England having another matchup with the Bills before the end of the season, the Patriots still have a chance to win the AFC East (no matter how small it is).
Also ahead of the Patriots are the Miami Dolphins, who are 6-3. With Miami having a difficult end of the season with games against the Chiefs, Patriots, and Bills still to come, it seems likely that New England leapfrogs Miami, especially if the Patriots beat the Dolphins again and own the tiebreaker.
If New England is able to continue to play well, they should end the season on a high note. They could end the season on a winning streak, as they play the AFC East to conclude 2020. It's quite possible that the Patriots end the season with a 10-6 record (even though 9-7 seems more likely).
So it's tough to see the Patriots winning the AFC East in their first season without Tom Brady, but they at least have a chance. It will just require the collapse of Buffalo and continued success from New England.
It's likely that the six-time Super Bowl champions finish 2nd in the AFC East. While this will be a step back for the organization, things could be much worse (they could be the New York Jets, who have no glimmer of hope despite years of rebuilding).
New England might not be as far off from success as once thought. With the right moves, the Patriots could be at the top of the AFC East relatively soon.
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