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Patriots continue to show dominance

The New England Patriots are incredible. After beating the Houston Texans on Thursday night, New England is now 3-0 and leading the AFC East by 1.5 games. Should the New York Jets lose at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, you can make it two.

Most pundits surmised that without Tom Brady for the first four games of the season, the Patriots would be happy to simply break even with a 2-2 record. Instead, Jimmy Garoppolo came out and played like a top-10 quarterback in his two starts, before injuring his AC joint in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Of course, that injury slowed New England in the same way a gnat stops the windshield of a truck.

Jacoby Brissett came in and was able to finish off the Dolphins. Then, on four days preparation, Brissett came out and beat the previously undefeated Texans in a laugher. Ultimately, the common denominator is head coach Bill Belichick, who might be separating himself as the greatest coach in NFL history.

People love to talk about the greatness of yesteryear. They talk about Paul Brown and George Halas, Vince Lombardi and Don Shula. Of course, all of those men deserve to be in the conversation along with others including Bill Walsh, Tom Landry and Chuck Noll. Still it is Belichick, who in this salary cap age that puts parity above all else, has been able to laugh and mock the rest of the NFL.

New England has won four Super Bowls and won six AFC titles since 2001. There has long been the argument of whether much of that credit should be given to Belichick or Brady, considering the former was never much as a head coach until the latter came to town. Recent returns, both this season and other campaigns that have seen middling rosters with exceptional results, would point to the coach.

There will also be detractors. Some will rail about DeflateGate and SpyGate, and they will have valid points. You can’t be accused and then found guilty of cheating – especially in the latter instance – and not have that be a black mark on your record. It is, and it always will be.

Yet Belichick’s genius can’t be overstated, and his teams can’t be overcome. At 3-0, the Patriots look like a great if not sure bet to have the conference’s best record again, earning home-field advantage and putting the rest of the AFC in a brutal spot. Going to Foxborough is never fun, but trying to take down New England in its house is damn near impossible.

It’s the same old story with different names in New England. The Patriots just keep winning, no matter what.