The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC looks like it will again go through Foxboro.
The Patriots boosted record to 7-0 by routing the Jets on Monday night and they will have three more division games left so that is 10 wins almost guaranteed.
They also have a game left with winless Cincinnati. That is 11. They do play at Baltimore, Houston and Kansas City and have home games with the Chiefs and Cowboys but it isn’t likely they will go any worse than 14-2 and get the first seed.
They are the sixth defending champion to start off 7-0. The last team to do it was the 2015 Patriots. They’ve also allowed just 48 points. The last time a team started out 7-0 and allowed fewer than 50 points was in 1934 with the Bears and Lions did it.
—Lamar Jackson had another big game for the Ravens against Seattle, rushing for 116 yards, the third time he has rushed for 100 yards. The question is can he survive the hits with all that running. It’s working for now. He also passed for 143 yards.
—The New Orleans Saints aren’t missing a beat without Drew Brees. They’re 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback after the victory in Chicago. They’re a dome team that won back to back games at Jacksonville and Chicago and now have five of the next seven at home.
—The Colts also aren’t missing a beat without Andrew Luck. After the victory over Houston, they lead the AFC South at 4-2and are just one of four AFC teams with two or fewer losses with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. And they have a good defense to back Brissett as they sacked Deshaun Watson three times and picked him off twice.
—Kirk Cousins has suddenly become the quarterback the Vikings thought they were getting. He has 10 touchdowns and one pick while leading Minnesota to victories in their last three games including the win Sunday over Detroit. He is the first quarterback in league history to throw for 300 yards and have a passer rating over 130 in three consecutive games. So, who is the real Kirk Cousins? The one who played lights out the last three games or the one who struggled early in the season? We’ll see.
—San Francisco remains the only unbeaten team in the NFC after the sloppy win over Washington in the rain. They play at New Orleans on Dec. 8; the same day the Chiefs go to New England. The Sunday night is Seattle at the Rams. Look for that game to be flexed. The 49ers also play Green Bay in another big game later this year. Saints, 49ers and Packers all are vying for the two spots in the NFC title game.
—The Chargers fell to the Titans to drop to 2-5. The Chargers scored two touchdowns in the last 40 seconds, but both were overturned and this time replay was right. And this time replay was right. Melvin Gordon then fumbled at the goal line in a scrum and replay showed he did. Looks like the Chargers will miss the playoffs.
—Did the Giants rush Daniel Jones into the lineup too soon? He looked lost in the loss to the Cardinals.–Sam Darnold also looked lost in the loss to New England but Bill Belichick does that to a lot of second year quarterbacks, especially one who was sidelined with mono.–It is now just a matter of time before Arthur Blank fires Atlanta coach Dan Quinn. They’re 1-6 and Matt Ryan is hurt.
—Cincinnati is back to being the Bungles. They actually led Jacksonville after three quarters and then Andy Dalton threw three picks to a team that had one turnover all season. They will play Miami later this year for what may be a battle for the top pick in the draft and could ruin Miami’s tanking plans. Was Zac Taylor hired too soon just because he worked for Sean McVay?