The AFC East should be the worst AFC division this season. But thanks to the Chiefs dismantling the Patriots on opening night, the supposed best team in football sits in last place in the AFC East after one week.
That’s surprising enough, but remember this is the Patriots, who have reigned over the AFC East for more than a decade. This is the first time the Pats have not held at least a share of first place in the AFC East since Week 2 of the 2014 season, according to FootballPerspective.com. Just like today, the Bills were alone first place back then.
The Patriots’ domination of the AFC East is no secret. New England has won every division title since 2009, and all but one since 2003. But the graph below from Football Perspective really puts New England’s domination in perspective. (What an aptly named website!)
And there’s a solid chance another AFC East team will end a first-place drought by the end of next week. The Bills play a tough road game against the Panthers, so if the Dolphins can steal a road win against the Chargers, they could wind up alone in first place for the first time since Week 2 of the 2010 season.
We’ll see how things proceed over the next few weeks. It’s been seven years since the Patriots didn’t hold at least a share of first place after Week 3.
Hopefully the Bills, Dolphins and Jets are enjoying the Patriots’ last-place standing while they can. The Pats are still the heavy favorites to win the division, even if some no longer consider them the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
But for what it’s worth, the last three times the Patriots lost their season opener — 2001, 2003 and 2014 — they won the Super Bowl.