After Thursday night’s shutout win over the Falcons and the Bills’ loss to the Colts on Sunday, the Patriots have now moved ahead of Buffalo for first place in the AFC East. They’ve also moved ahead of the Bills in another area, as New England now has the No. 1 defense in the NFL.
The Patriots’ 16.1 points allowed per game is a point and a half better than second-place Buffalo. They’ve allowed just 13 points total in their last three games, and they’ve held seven of their 11 opponents this season under 20 points. The Patriots lead the league in interceptions with 18 and are third in total takeaways with 21.
CBS analyst and WFAN host Boomer Esiason has been higher on this Patriots team than a lot of national analysts from the start, saying before the season that he thought they were a playoff team and saying early on that Mac Jones was the best quarterback in this rookie class.
But it’s the defense that now has Esiason aiming even higher with his expectations. Making his weekly appearance on The Greg Hill Show on Monday, Esiason said the Patriots should now be viewed as the favorites in the division and that he believes they “can beat anybody” in the NFL.
“I don’t see why not,” Esiason said. “Their defense has been playing great. Mac Jones played just an incredible game down in Atlanta, except for one interception. I think the way that their defense is playing, it may be one of the best defenses Bill Belichick has ever had. The depth, the playmaking, the pass rush, the addition of certain free agents.
“It’s hard to say right now, after 11 games, that they haven’t found their stride. Now, the important thing is, we have six more games to go, and they have Buffalo twice on their schedule. So it’s not an easy finishing stretch for the New England Patriots, but certainly with this defense, they can beat anybody.”
Listen to the full interview below: