The New England Patriots are in yet another Super Bowl, but each postseason success seems to fan the “they benefit from a weak division” flames.
Indeed, quality seasons by either the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins or Buffalo Bills have been hard to come by since Tom Brady was named the Pats’ starting quarterback, but New England nonetheless had heaps of favorable results outside the AFC East.
But during Friday’s episode of “First Take” on ESPN, co-host Stephen A. Smith said the Patriots have an easier path to the Super Bowl because they play in the AFC East.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at these numbers, courtesy of ESPN’s Field Yates.
Even with these numbers, the Patriots clearly have benefitted in the fact that rolling through their division helps them earn a better record, putting them in advantageous seeding positions.
Still, the Patriots seldom play down to the competition, and it’s hard to reach nine Super Bowls on accident, meaning they get the job done against some of the league’s best once playoffs roll around.