Some Patriots fans left New England’s Week 11 game acting as though the sky was falling.

For Colin Cowherd, it was just the latest chapter in a story he’s read several times before.

The reigning Super Bowl champions collectively were far from their best Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, but they still managed to secure a 17-10 win over the Eagles. The Patriots own the top record in the AFC, and the majority of the conference has yet to offer any indication it can go toe-to-toe with New England in the playoffs. In fact, Cowherd believes there’s only one team capable of preventing Tom Brady and Co. from reaching a fourth consecutive Super Bowl.

“It’s Week 11, they’re looking for a little more efficiency on offense, they’re getting better at left tackle, they just went on the road and they won by a touchdown against a talented team,” Cowherd said Monday on FS1’s “The Herd.” “This is New England, Week 11. AFC field or New England, the only team that makes you pause on them — I mean, you really think Oakland, Buffalo, Houston, Kansas City, Indianapolis is going to Foxboro in January and winning? Really? One chance to keep them out of the Super Bowl is Baltimore and it will be (Bill) Belichick’s second crack at ’em. I look at this team yesterday and I’m like, ‘Yeah, they’re sluggish. They figured out a way to win.’ Outside of the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL right now — and they are hot, they’re healthy and they’re humming — outside of that one team, and Belichick gets a second crack, who else is going to Foxboro in this league and winning in January? I don’t see it.”

It’s becoming clear the Ravens aren’t just a flash in the pan. That said, and as Cowherd referenced, the Patriots are a different animal at Gillette Stadium when the lights are a little bit brighter. Lamar Jackson very well could go on to claim MVP honors for what’s been a truly sensational campaign, but trying to knock off a Belichick-coached squad on the road in January would be an awfully sizable undertaking for the second-year signal-caller.

New England, of course, will need to take care of business in the coming weeks in order to solidify the No. 1 seed, especially considering Baltimore holds the teams’ head-to-head tiebreaker. With both sides set to embark on tough three-game stretches, we soon could find out who really is the team to beat in the AFC.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images