Eleven weeks of the season are in the rear-view mirror. Six weeks of regular season remain. They're still more than a month away, but the NFL playoffs are beginning to work themselves into everyday conversation.
And the New England Patriots are right in the middle of that discussion.
The finish line for the regular season isn't far away, and the Patriots are rounding themselves into a team that will be a major threat in the postseason. The offense is clicking, the defense is improving, the play-calling is progressing and the focus is sharpening.
Surely, the Patriots are aiming to get at least as far as they got last year. That means reaching the Super Bowl—maybe even winning it.
Though its flaws have been discussed and explored often, New England has just as much right to be in the Super Bowl discussion as any team in the league. The Patriots may not be the favorite, but they're close.
To get to that point, they'll have to keep improving in a few areas. Some of those are fully within their control. Some will just rely on better luck down the stretch.