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upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
So, we've gone all year with no media person mentioning the fact that we saw a Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins resurgence the very year that the Patriots had their first losing record in 2 decades.

As though this was just a coincidence.

I know Patriots fans have long pointed out that the Patriots AFCE record over the last 20 years (.74) is the same as their record against the rest of the AFC and the NFC (.74) and in fact it's the exact same record in the playoffs (.74).

But here we are. 20 years of ineptitude from the Bills and Phins (Jets at least got to 2 different championship games) and the Patriots were constantly knocked for having it easy (not once did I hear one of the media guys mention that losing to the Patriots, and never winning the division or going to the playoffs, tends to take the starch out of your prospects).

Oh, but it's a coincidence that these teams are now up the very same year (after 20 years!!!!!) that the Patriots are down.
 

haripi2

On the Game Day Roster
What's your point?
I think the OP is saying AFC east is not inferior or cakewalk conference as presumed by other fan bases.. just that the pats were so dominant or so good that it gave an illusion that the conference is easy. With the pats down the other members from afc east are able to stand on their own footing in afc with Buffalo going to championship, i.e beating the other conference teams..

So the fallacy that afc east is afc easy is not true..
 

venecol

The FRG has a little ****
I think the OP is saying AFC east is not inferior or cakewalk conference as presumed by other fan bases.. just that the pats were so dominant or so good that it gave an illusion that the conference is easy. With the pats down the other members from afc east are able to stand on their own footing in afc with Buffalo going to championship, i.e beating the other conference teams..

So the fallacy that afc east is afc easy is not true..
So he's stating what we all already know. Thanks
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
I think the OP is saying AFC east is not inferior or cakewalk conference as presumed by other fan bases.. just that the pats were so dominant or so good that it gave an illusion that the conference is easy. With the pats down the other members from afc east are able to stand on their own footing in afc with Buffalo going to championship, i.e beating the other conference teams..

So the fallacy that afc east is afc easy is not true..
Thanks. Yeah--I could have been more plain and clear.
 

Patriot Missile

Pro Bowl Player
addition from subtraction. Patriots being bad was a 3 game difference. Played well vs Miami in the first game but regressed as the season went on. Bills playing a bad Patriots and Jets team is a automatic 4 wins. The afc east has been bad in some of years for sure. Just not as bad as the mediots taking pot shots at the Patriots over the years. This isn’t jist directed at the Patriots btw, the 49ers took a lot of heat for having the LA Rams, NO Saints and Atlanta Falcons in their division.. Denver had an extremely bad Afc West division during a large part of their run. And ofcourse this year the NFC east was a laughing stalk.

It’s all nonsense. At the end of the day you beat the teams that are on your schedule and if you are good enough, you go to the superbowl. The playoffs have a way of straightening these things out.
 

Elijah

The Tom Brady Of Not Having A Gf
PatsFans.com Supporter
I'll take the centrist position here. People do have a habit of grossly underestimating the level of competition the Patriots faced from their division over the last 2 decades. However, the Bills and the Dolphins really are much better teams than they were a few years ago, and we can point to tangible reasons why (coaching, the Bills successfully developing Allen, the Dolphins building an insane secondary). It's not like they're just filling a vacuum left by the Patriots losing 5 fewer games this season vs last. It's more about them than it is about us.

In other words, had the Patriots collapsed in another year, we might have seen significantly worse results from the other AFCE teams just because those teams might not be as good as they happen to be this year.
 

sb1

Pro Bowl Player
I think the OP is saying AFC east is not inferior or cakewalk conference as presumed by other fan bases.. just that the pats were so dominant or so good that it gave an illusion that the conference is easy. With the pats down the other members from afc east are able to stand on their own footing in afc with Buffalo going to championship, i.e beating the other conference teams..

So the fallacy that afc east is afc easy is not true..
To be fair until recently the division really was not very good. Before this year - let’s face it no team was really a serious threat to the Pats in the division at any time. Pats always had the best coach in the division but our division rivals are catching up. Well the Dolphins and bills anyway Also until this year the Pats had the best QB in the division. Who was the second best? Pennington? Sanchez? Bledsoe for a couple of years? Lol
 
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notex

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I actually thought about this recently. The pats were so dominant that every team in division basically started out 0-2.... but there were some pretty dreadful teams from every franchise.

I don’t think the media accounts for that. They thought of it as the Pats getting a 6-0 head start
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Felger, Dan Shaughnessy and a few other locals quite often attempted to minimize the success of the Patriots by attributing it to their being in the AFC East. Of course they never mentioned that the Colts were in a division with two expansion teams, or how bad the NFC West was for years. To hear CHB explain things, every Patriot victory was due to their playing a 'tomato can' on a weekly basis.

Fans of other teams similarly tried to downplay the accomplishments of the Patriots by chalking their achievements up to playing in the AFCE. From there they would rationalize that the Pats held an unfair advantage, and that their own teams were actually better than the Patriots.

This columnist did an excellent job of refuting all those theories and debunking every 'easy AFC East' talking point.


After a season when the NFC East went a combined 11-28-1 outside their division, no writer has any business bringing up the words "weak AFC East".
 

sb1

Pro Bowl Player
Great coaches in the AFC East since the century started: 1

Great QBs in the AFC East since the century started: 1

Both of them were here in NE.

While the easy division thing is overplayed the Pats dominance in the division was never really challenged until this season. So yes it did help the Patriots being in the division.

Where the haters are wrong is the Patriots werent good only because of their division. They’d be great in any division without a doubt.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
I'll take the centrist position here. People do have a habit of grossly underestimating the level of competition the Patriots faced from their division over the last 2 decades. However, the Bills and the Dolphins really are much better teams than they were a few years ago, and we can point to tangible reasons why (coaching, the Bills successfully developing Allen, the Dolphins building an insane secondary). It's not like they're just filling a vacuum left by the Patriots losing 5 fewer games this season vs last. It's more about them than it is about us.

In other words, had the Patriots collapsed in another year, we might have seen significantly worse results from the other AFCE teams just because those teams might not be as good as they happen to be this year.

Bt this is the idea I was countering.

If you NEVER make the playoffs, and NEVER win the division, then you tend to cycle through your coaches. Your front office gets fired. It's hard to win in the NFL without continuity.

This is what I meant by "losing to the Patriots, and never winning the division or going to the playoffs, tends to take the starch out of your prospects." The problem is that losing over 2 decades prevents you from ever building the continuity you need. Only when you get a few extra wins under your belt, only then can you maintain and build instead of starting all over again.

Losing to the Patriots constantly--in the case of the Bills--is demoralizing. And no one has lost more to the Patriots. You give the Bills one or two more wins over the years and they actually make the playoffs several times more than they did.
 

1960Pats

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
addition from subtraction. Patriots being bad was a 3 game difference. Played well vs Miami in the first game but regressed as the season went on. Bills playing a bad Patriots and Jets team is a automatic 4 wins. The afc east has been bad in some of years for sure. Just not as bad as the mediots taking pot shots at the Patriots over the years. This isn’t jist directed at the Patriots btw, the 49ers took a lot of heat for having the LA Rams, NO Saints and Atlanta Falcons in their division.. Denver had an extremely bad Afc West division during a large part of their run. And ofcourse this year the NFC east was a laughing stalk.

It’s all nonsense. At the end of the day you beat the teams that are on your schedule and if you are good enough, you go to the superbowl. The playoffs have a way of straightening these things out.
What's nonsensical is the difference in the strength of schedule that allows teams to compete against entirely different teams and use those records to determine playoff spots. This year was one of the best/worst examples.

Start with the Packers. You can't tell me that their easiest in the NYFL schedule didn't help them get the #1 seed and Rodgers the MVP. They played 12 of their 16 games against teams with a combined record of 73-118-1. That has to be some sort of record. They beat one playoff team twice (the Bears who are hardly the Monsters of the Midway) and the Saints early in the year. They lost to TB and Indy.

Then let's look at the AFCN, who because of their schedule had 3 teams make the playoffs. They all played 2 games vs Cincy, they also played the NFCE (the weakest division in the history of the NYFL), 4-12 Houston and the 1-15 Jags.

It's possible that Miami has a better team than all of the AFCN playoff teams, but they had a tougher schedule and missed out by a game. The two Buffalo games and one against KC was probably the difference.

As for the AFCLeast bs, that was debunked here a while ago.
 

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