Why Nick Wright Still Views Patriots As Favorite To Win AFC East This Season

The AFC East is fairly wide open

Many are acting as though the sky is falling in New England, and it’s easy to understand why.

Nick Wright, however, believes the Patriots and their fans shouldn’t push the panic button just yet.

New England, quite frankly, has looked horrible in each of its last three games. The Patriots put up a modest effort in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs with all of the odds stacked against them, but it’s been a steady decline since. Cam Newton, who shined in his first two games with New England, has looked like a completely different player since returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Wright still likes the Patriots’ chances of reaching the playoffs, though. The “First Things First” host’s take is due in part to his lack of confidence in the rest of the AFC East teams.

“The Dolphins, who you’re behind in the standings, just went to a rookie, who I think is awesome, is going to take his lumps. The Bills just beat the Jets by eight points which, according to my standings, counts as a loss even if in the official standings it counts as a win,” Wright said Monday on FOX Sports 1. “You play the Bills next week. When the Patriots beat the Bills next week, they’re going to be a game out. The week after that, the Bills play the Seahawks and you get the Jets.

“So you’re going to be 4-4 and in first place in the division or tied for first before you know it. Cam will get better, (Bill) Belichick will figure it out. They’re not Super Bowl contenders, but they’re still, in my opinion, the favorites to win this division no matter how bad they’ve looked the last few weeks.”

The Patriots will be in a world of hurt if they aren’t able to pick up a win over a Bills team that’s been playing lousy football of late. A primetime date with the Baltimore Ravens awaits in Week 10 and the upstart Arizona Cardinals will be making a trip to Foxboro in Week 12. At this rate, New England can’t afford to miss opportunities in winnable games.

The Pats and Bills are slated to kick off in Buffalo at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images

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