The New England Patriots won’t be surprised if a rival vies for their throne.

NFL legend Deion Sanders named the Buffalo Bills as the Patriots’ “biggest threat” in the AFC on Sunday during his appearance on NFL Network’s “NFL Gameday.” The 4-1 Bills are in second place in the AFC East, trailing only the 6-0 Patriots, and Sanders believes they’ll remain in contention for AFC supremacy if their offensive performances improve to match those of their defense.

“It is the Buffalo Bills,” Sanders said when asked to name the Patriots’ biggest competition. “(They) can run the football very effectively, have a top-five defense. They can get to the ball, they can take the ball away. They know how to play some defense, and they ain’t never scared.

“If they get that young quarterback to just hold onto the ball and not turn the ball over, I’m telling you, these guys ain’t to be played with.

“… there’s not a lot of great football out there, teams that are dominant. Tom Brady and them? Yes. Name another one.”

The Patriots grinded out an ugly, 16-10 win in Buffalo in Week 4 in the teams’ first meeting of the 2019 season. Allen threw three interceptions, and the Patriots sacked him four times, subjecting him to one of the most disappointing games of his young career.

The Bills’ loss dropped their record to 3-1, but they rebounded to earn a 14-7 win over the Tennesse Titans in Week 5 before entering their bye Week. Allen’s passer rating jumped from 24.0 to 98.3 between Weeks 4 and 5, suggesting he shook off the rough treatment the Patriots gave him.

The Bills won’t face the Patriots again until Week 16, but their good start and Sanders’ high praise will increase the pressure on them going forward. Time will tell whether they’ll be able to shoulder it.

Thumbnail photo via Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Images