Patriots

‘Good Morning Football’ hosts: AFC should fear resurgent Patriots

"Yes, you should be afraid of the Patriots."

Mac Jones Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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The New England Patriots are suddenly back like they never left, putting the NFL on notice once again by underdressing the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

Now, people aren’t just talking about the Patriots as a potential playoff team in the AFC. They’re starting to wonder if they’re the scariest team in the conference.

Kyle Brandt, co-host of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” show, told his co-hosts Monday he couldn’t envision that scenario after the Patriots lost to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 to drop to 1-3.

But now?

“They’re really good,” he said.

Even more than that, Brandt sees them as one of the most dangerous teams in the AFC just past the midway point of the season.

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“Name the team that’s definitely going to take out the Patriots,” he added. “Don’t tell me Baltimore. Don’t tell me all those teams. Those teams are all heavily flawed.

“I look for the teams that peak at the right time…the Pats lost early, that’s fine. And then what do you know? They actually do have an incredible coach and a great defense.”

The Patriots currently occupy the sixth seed in the AFC, which would have them in the second wild card spot if the season ended today.

But that could change in a few weeks with crucial matchups coming against the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills and AFC-leading Tennessee Titans.

“I feel like the AFC had a chance to take their foot and put it on [their necks]–let’s keep them away here–and they just let them hang around,” said GMFB co-host Peter Schrager. “Now they’ve rattled off four straight. They’ve got the Atlanta on a short week on Thursday. Suddenly they’re going to be 7-4.”

And if they can take out the teams ahead of them in the standings, things could get scary, Schrager warned.

“It’s very possible the Patriots are the ‘1’ seed in the AFC, they have a bye week and the playoffs go through Foxborough,” he said. “This quarterback [Mac Jones] is getting better and better and better every single week. Yes, you should be afraid of the Patriots…and yes, you should be concerned because none of the other teams in the AFC have planted their flag and said, ‘This is our conference!'”

The fact that the Patriots are already making noise in AFC one season after missing the playoffs for the first time in 20 years, thanks in part to the accelerated development of Jones, bodes well for New England.

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But Brandt says that knowledge should make the rest of the league wary both in the immediate and more distant future.

“All of this stuff about the ‘1’ seed [this year], that’s small potatoes,” he said. “The fear is that you’re in for 15 years…we’re talking about the 2037 Patriots under Josh McDaniels as head coach and Mac Jones as quarterback. That’s what you should be afraid of.”

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