The New England Patriots haven’t lost a regular-season home game since Nov. 30, 2008 and Tom Brady hasn’t lost in Foxboro in the regular season in 29 starts. You simply can’t beat this team in New England, and they’re good enough on the road that they’ve emerged as the team to beat in the AFC.

Tom Brady went over 400 yards again — becoming the seventh quarterback in NFL history to do so in back-to-back games — as the Pats handled the dangerous San Diego Chargers 35-21 today at Gillette. One year after going 14-2, the Patriots have now won 10 straight regular-season games, and now find themselves with a crucial edge on some fellow heavyweights in the conference.

In addition to gaining a big tiebreaker over San Diego with the victory, the Pats have to be thrilled to see what happened to the Ravens today. Baltimore laid an egg in Nashville, one week after Pittsburgh laid an egg in Baltimore. Now, Houston is the only team outside of the division without a loss.

New England’s biggest obstacles early could be the teams in its division, with the Jets and Bills also starting 2-0. They’ll have a chance to send statements to Buffalo and New York in the near future — they draw the Bills in Week 3 and the Jets (at home) in Week 5.

But in addition to having an early advantage on other AFC powerhouses on paper, the Pats clearly have regained their reputation as the conference’s most dangerous team. We all know what Brady can do, but the young tight ends are looking better each week and BenJarvus Green-Ellis is proving to be an underrated threat.

Every team in the AFC possesses obvious flaws, New England included. And if the Pats can’t improve their pass defense, they’ll be mortal. They’ve surrendered 792 yards through the air already this season, which has to be concerning considering how often the secondary was torched early last year.

But they’ve overcome those problems early on, and Brady and the offense just might be good enough to compensate for their weaknesses.

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