The New England Patriots are right on schedule.
After going through their notorious September struggles, the Patriots have looked sharp as ever in each of the last two weeks, posting back-to-back 38-point performances in wins over the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts.
Colin Cowherd, who previously was of the belief that New England no longer is a top-10 NFL team, noticeably has changed his tune about the Pats in wake of the team’s recent showings. In fact, the host of “The Herd” currently has the Patriots ranked as the fourth-best team in the league.
“It’s a quarterback-coach league, they’ve scored 38 points in each of their last two games,” Cowherd said during Tuesday’s show on FOX Sports 1. “Again, they don’t have a pass rush and I don’t know if you can generate one. Their secondary is great, it’s the strength of their team. (Tom) Brady, Gronk (Rob Gronkowski), (Julian) Edelman, Chris Hogan, Sony Michel — that rookie running back — James White. The strength of their offense is they’ve got a lot of efficient offensive players. Not a lot of dynamic guys, but a lot of efficient guys. They pick up yards. Lot of first downs, lot of time of possession. Defensively, no pass rush, but they’re tremendous at corner and great at safety. And I think they have the best coach and quarterback in the NFL, so I have them at four.”
You can watch Cowherd run through his full list of the “Herd Hierarchy” in the video below:
It’s tough to argue with Cowherd’s assessment of New England’s offense, but his take on the defense is a bit misguided. While the Patriots’ pass rush isn’t vaunted by any means, it’s shown signs of promise in recent weeks. And while labeling New England’s safety depth as “great” is far, it’s probably a stretch to call its crew of cornerbacks “tremendous.”
Either way, the Patriots certainly are coming into their own, and it should be interesting to see how Cowherd shuffles his rankings after New England’s heavyweight bout with the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, regardless of the outcome.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports