Yes, the New England Patriots climb a spot, but that has more to do with the Jaguars suffering a setback than anything head coach Bill Belichick and Co. have done this preseason.
Besides, we know who the Patriots are anyway — a perennial Super Bowl contender, regardless of the context, as long as Belichick and future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady are at the forefront.
And forget any of the talk of power struggles, dysfunction or whatever. All that goes out the window when Brady and Belichick, two of the game’s biggest competitors, take the field.
Heck, the Pats probably use controversy to their advantage.
New England’s offensive line has been a bit shaky this preseason. Offensive tackle Trent Brown, whom the Patriots picked up from the 49ers to replace Nate Solder (joined the Giants), hasn’t looked totally equipped to protect Brady’s blind side. And that might be a sore question mark for New England’s offense early.
Same with the defense, although we saw a similar situation pan out last year on that side of the ball. And the Pats still managed to find a way to the Super Bowl, didn’t they.
Here’s your lesson: Don’t bet against the Patriots until they’re officially out.