Hilariously enough, the Bengals might be the Pats stiffest competition this season in the AFC. This is a theme with the Bengals the past few years as they seem to always start out hot while simmering mightily once November/December rolls around. Nevertheless, they looked damn good Sunday, as they put up 445 yards of total offense to go with 4 TDs. The Red Rifle, Andy Dalton, had a nice game going 17/24 with 321 yards 1 TD and 0 INTs. He has looked good this year and maybe this is the year he puts it all together for a full season. The Bengals really have a nice offense with a ton of good pieces to go around him with Jeremy Hill, Gio Bernard, AJ Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert. The Bengals have always been known for their stiff defense and that has not changed this year as they have consistently stifled the opposing offense, even holding Jamaal Charles to 75 yards this week. All this being said, I do not expect the Bengals to give the Patriots a scare this year and I am still much more concerned about the Steelers or the Broncos.
The Broncos and Noodle Arm, Peyton Manning, squeaked out a win this week against a better-than-advertised Minnesota Vikings team. Manning managed to throw 2 INTs with only 1 TD, while throwing for 213 yards through the air. It should have been worse, as Manning's passes were consistently off the mark, while getting lucky a few times with dropped INTs. Ronnie Hillman had an explosive, perhaps game saving, 80 yard TD to ignite the Broncos offense. With the Broncos, though, it really isn't about the offense, as they might, and probably do, have the best defense in the AFC. Their pass rush, lead by Von Miller and Demarcus Ware, is simply unstoppable. They have excellent cover LBs in Brandon Marshall (Not that Brandon Marshall) and Danny Trevathan. All this to go with their elite secondary headlined by Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and TJ Ward. Simply put, they are a force to be reckoned with and my pick to meet the Pats in the AFC Championship game this year. I still think the Pats can go undefeated this year, even with 2 potential matchups with this tough Denver team.
New York Jets:
Yes, really. The Jets right are currently 3-1 and the Pats 3rd most feared team. Seriously. The Jets have been playing well, led by Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick they beat a Miami team that just fired their head coach. The offense has been humming with Chris Ivory running like peak Marshawn Lynch recently and Brandon Marshall showing why people should still fear him as a #1 WR. The Jets defense has been pretty good this year, headlined of course by former Patriot Darrelle Revis. I'll never be scared of a Jets team with QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith, but they have admittedly looked good to start the season. Can't wait for the matchup Week 7 as, hopefully, we can show them why they are running on false hope if they think they can win the AFC East.
Honorable Mention: Colts - Barely won because of Jacksonville missed GW FGs. Update: Coach didnt cry
By Jack Journeay