Pats Fans, Don't Jump Off The Ledge

Derek Havens
October 20, 2012 at 09:00am ET

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Six weeks into the 2012 NFL season and whoa, what a roller coaster it has been so far. Talk about your ups and downs for a football the team. The Patriots, sitting in a four-team tie in the AFC East, are at a surprising 3-3 record heading into week seven. Who would have predicted that? Not many.

Now, after three losses by a combined 4 points - yes, four - Patriots Nation is frustrated to say the least. Hard to blame anyone who watches this team on a regular basis to not be frustrated, confused and even a little angry -- Rightfully so in my opinion.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will look to get his team back on track after a rocky start to the 2012 season. (FILE:USPresswire)

When you look at this roster from top to bottom, including one of the best coaches in the NFL Bill Belichick, the results on the field should be better than what has been produced. For a team that many predicted to represent the AFC in the SuperBowl, losing half of their contests and not finishing close games is just not good enough.

Now, I am not trying to be a Patriots apologist by any means. I have no problem criticizing this team when need be and they must improve to accomplish their ultimate goal, winning a championship.

But let's take a look around the league. There are 23 teams with a record of 3-3 or worse. In the AFC, only two teams have a better record than the Patriots. Like I mentioned previously, the AFC East is in a four-way tie.

So as much as the Patriots have been disappoint to this point, the rest of the league isn't doing too much better. Well, unless you're a member of the Atlanta Falcons, who are now the only undefeated team at 6-0 and I'm not even sure they are as good as their record indicates.

Point of the matter is, the NFL and specifically the AFC is up for grabs and New England has a great opportunity to take advantage. You never want injuries to happen, but with Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis out for the season now in Baltimore as well as Brian Cushing done for the year in Houston, injuries have opened up the conference’s landscape.

Looking back to last season, the Patriots lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week eight and in week nine to the New York Giants back-to-back coming out of the team's bye week. How did they respond? They rattled off an eight-game winning streak to close out the season. While I am not necessarily saying the same will happen this year, I know this team is capable of a similar run.

New England has a favorable schedule moving forward and are very talented. They also have the eighth youngest squad in the NFL this season, so they will likely improve as the season progresses.

Look for them to get back on track versus the division rival New York Jets on Sunday and be sure to check out my three keys to the game.

Don't worry, Patriots Nation, it has been a frustrating year so far, but good things are still to come. Let's see what this Patriots team is made of moving forward.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!