A tale as old as time: As the weather gets colder, the Patriots get hotter

For two decades, turning the calendar from November to December in New England meant the cold was coming and the Patriots were starting to play their best football to gear up for a postseason run.

It was a strange, uncharacteristically bad season that saw them win just seven wins, lose the face of their franchise, and witness a new “king” of the AFC East seemingly emerging as yearly Super Bowl favorites.

It seemed as if the Patriots were still a year or two away from being contenders in a loaded AFC that is oozing with quarterback talent.

Now, six wins later, they are emerging as a favorite to meet the NFC’s best on the first Sunday in February.

Mac Jones is the betting favorite to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year, and the Patriots are playing their best football on both sides of the ball in nearly three years.

Beating the AFC-leading Tennessee Titans on Sunday in a street-fight type of win, Mac Jones threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in freezing temperatures.

“I don’t think there is a ceiling at all,” said wide receiver Kendrick Bourne following Sunday’s game.

The offense has proven that it can beat you both on the ground and by spreading the ball around through the air despite lacking a bonafide superstar in their skill position group.

Shaking early defensive struggles and taking the training wheels off his rookie quarterback as the weeks pile up, his team seemingly always has the right personnel on the field.

As Belichick said in his postgame press conference after the win on Sunday, “eight games isn’t enough to clinch anything or to win anything.” Sure, but it takes you one step closer.

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