The New England Patriots are climbing up from the bottom of the AFC East standings following their Week 11 win, and other teams could be on the same track.
The New England Patriots have been the most dominant team in the NFL through the 2000s, but since losing core members such as Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, among many others, the team has been looking much more imperfect.
This Week 11 matchup against the New York Jets gave them the chance to either widen the gap at the bottom of the standings or tie the Jets to make it easier to move up, and they pulled off an incredible 10-3 win to tie the standings.
Though their offensive line has some very clear and serious issues, their defense was on another level during this matchup with cornerback Marcus Jones running an incredible 84-yard touchdown in the final moments of the game.
If players like Jones can continue to deliver so well defensively and score, they may be contenders to win the division. It certainly wouldn’t be an easy climb to the top, but they aren’t currently too far behind the Buffalo Bills or the Miami Dolphins, and they have clear potential for success with their .600 record.
They certainly aren’t looking like Super Bowl contenders considering there are much more solid teams in the league, but they have a few more division matchups left this season that could make-or-break their chances of ending up on top.
Some other seemingly unlikely teams from other divisions could be following the same path as the Patriots, too.
NFC East – New York Giants
The New York Giants sit second in the NFC East to the Philadelphia Eagles with a 7-3 record. The Eagles have been on fire this season with just one loss and going as the only undefeated team in the league up until their Week 10 loss against the Washington Commanders.
The Eagles, however, may not be as well-off as they seem. They barely pulled off a win in Week 11, ending the game 17-16 against the Indianapolis Colts. This was their first time playing the Colts this season, but when they faced the Commanders in Week 3, they had a great 24-8 win. What happened to lead to a 32-21 Week 10 loss?
Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson broke down exactly what the Eagles downfall may be. He noted that the Eagles have been consistently scoring early in the games, particularly the second quarter, before their scoring is slowed down by the opposing team. This suggests that they have a good strategy until the opposing team can figure it out and adjust accordingly.
As the second half of the season unfolds and the Eagles begin to face teams for a second time, the opposing teams are much more equipped as they’ve figured out the strategy and can react accordingly much earlier in the game. Of course, as soon as Johnson pointed this out, the Eagles faced their first loss of the season.
If this proves to be true and the Giants continue to play well, they could sneak up to become the division winner.