Good tidings from a Sunday of mostly favorable outcomes elsewhere following two wins in five days had put the New England Patriots in first place and prompted many of them to spend the past week speaking in the true spirit of the season.
Gratitude. Selflessness. Kinship.
These were along with, as you’ve undoubtedly heard, great debates over side dishes and desserts among the themes apropos of Thanksgiving that echoed from players at the press-room podium and teammates Zooming on desktops and laptops.
Some to speak were the same Patriots who in mid-October professed to be better than what their 2-4 record said they were, while promising that a brewing off-field chemistry would soon bubble into a consistently winning formula.
A month later, their words, which could have been interpreted at the time as lip service, have instead been substantiated. The Pats have gone from two below to three games above .500, with five consecutive victories by an average margin of 25.0 points.
The chain of AFC events, including losses by Buffalo to Jacksonville and Tennessee to Houston, and a remaining schedule whose degree of difficulty is matched by possibility have conspired to create opportunity.
Titans today. At Buffalo next Monday. The bye week, finally. At Indy. Bills again, only in Foxborough. Then Jacksonville and Miami, home and away, respectively.