The New England Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills on Sunday to move to 7-1. The team also has a bye week this weekend, giving them extra time to get ready for the second half of the season. Now that they have the best record in the AFC, the Patriots Super Bowl lines have gone up, making them the favorites to win it all.
Before the Patriots can start worrying about the Super Bowl, they still have to secure home field advantage in the playoffs, with teams like the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos nipping at them at 6-2.
Despite the competition for home field advantage from the AFC West teams, the Patriots are technically in a more favorable position than the other teams. While they still have to face the Broncos in Denver, where they haven't had a lot of luck, the Broncos, Raiders, and Chiefs, who also have only two losses, will play each other at least once more this season, which will lead to a loss or two for the top teams in the division.
However, after squandering their chance to get home field advantage late last season, the Patriots have to be wary of getting complacent once again, if they don't want to lose another opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.
After getting shut out at home by the Bills in their first meeting, the Patriots offense wasted no time establishing its dominance. Tom Brady completed another game without throwing an interception, and continued making his case for the MVP award.
The Patriots defense also played well despite the score, going with the ever reliable bend but don't break rule. While the defense allowed the Bills to get big chunks of yardage, they kept the Bills from the end zone for most of the game, which allowed them to win rather easily.
Corner back Logan Ryan appears to be falling in the depth chart, with some of his playing time going to Justin Coleman and Eric Rowe. On Sunday, Ryan still led the trio in total snaps played, but it is becoming obvious that Coleman and Rowe are getting a lot of his playing time.
Head coach Bill Belichick hasn't explained why Ryan isn't getting more playing time, but there are rumors that since Ryan will become a free agent after this season, Belichick is trying to see what Rowe and Coleman can do so he doesn't have to spend a lot of money trying to resign Ryan in the off season.
After scoring his 69th career touchdown, it is safe to say that barring a career ending injury, Rob Gronkowski will go down as the greatest tight end in league history, which is saying a lot considering the great tight ends that have played the game.
Gronkowski is currently the Patriots franchise leader, and he is just in his seventh season. He already has more touchdowns than Jason Witten, Shannon Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez, and Antonio Gates had at this point in their careers. Gronkowski has also shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon, which is why many believe he will own all the records by the time he is done.