Stephen A. Smith on Tuesday hailed the New England Patriots as the AFC’s best team heading into Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season.
Fellow national pundit Colin Cowherd agrees.
Cowherd on Tuesday delivered his latest “Herd Hierarchy,” which ranks the top 10 teams in the league each week. “The Herd” host had the Patriots at No. 4, with only the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of them, respectively.
“New England’s defense is the best in the league, their coach is the best in the league, their special teams are arguably best in the league,” Cowherd said on FOX Sports 1. “They’ve held four of their last five opponents under 14 points. They have the best points differential, they have the No. 1 scoring defense. They are not dynamic offensively. They need to grind you down and that’s why I only have them at four. But if I said to you, ‘There’s this team. Run the football, best defense, best coach in the league and excellent special teams.’ Does it sound like a top-four team in the league? In 2021, it is.”
The Patriots will welcome the seventh-ranked team on Cowherd’s list, the Tennessee Titans, to Gillette Stadium on Sunday. If New England takes down Mike Vrabel’s team and the Baltimore Ravens fall to the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots will take hold of the AFC’s No. 1 seed.