As Bill Parcells famously said, “You are what your record says you are.”
But when it comes to the New England Patriots, Nick Wright currently isn’t buying into that notion.
The Patriots sit at 8-1 heading into Sunday’s clash with the Philadelphia Eagles, but Wright still doesn’t view New England as the top team in the AFC despite owning the conference’s best record. In fact, the “First Thing First” host believes there are five teams in the NFL better than the reigning Super Bowl champions right now.
“The Patriots are 8-1. You might say, ‘They should be higher.’ I would say, ‘Why?’ ” Wright explained Wednesday on FOX Sports 1. “Like, make the argument that doesn’t have to do with what their record is. They have, this season, one quality win, it is over the Buffalo Bills. Tom Brady has been, right now, statistically, an average quarterback across the board. But that defense is, statistically, historically great. They’re about to face much tougher tests. The reason they’re as high as they are, despite the questions about the offense, is because they have the greatest coach ever, that defense, I think, will travel everywhere and Brady, I do think, is holding something a little in reserve for the postseason. I think some of the plays where he’s throwing it away and going down, in the playoffs he’ll take that hit and deliver that pass. But right now, I’ve got them No. 6.”
.@getnickwright lists the 8 best teams in the NFL:
8. Vikings pic.twitter.com/t2PIHo8jYl
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) November 13, 2019
There’s no denying the Patriots greatly benefited from a light early season schedule, but is their position on Wright’s power rankings justified?
The Saints at No. 2 feels like a stretch, as New Orleans just lost by 17 points at home to the lowly Atlanta Falcons. The San Francisco 49ers, much like the Patriots, have been powered by an elite defense, but the case can be made their offense has been worse than New England’s. It’s by no means a hot take to not have the Patriots as your No. 1 team, but No. 6 seems a little low.
Should New England storm into Philadelphia this weekend and grab a victory, it probably will force Wright to readjust his rankings.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images