Without Tom Brady on Patriots, is it all Chiefs and Ravens in the AFC?

Justin Leger
NBC Sports Boston

Editor's note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today's team: The Kansas City Chiefs with Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star.

The New England Patriots have spent much of the last two decades as kings of the AFC. In 2019 though, we may have witnessed the beginning of a new reign atop the conference.

Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title one year after falling to Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Championship. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens faltered in the playoffs, but steamrolled New England in the regular season en route to a 14-2 record.

So now that Brady has taken his talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is it officially the Chiefs, Ravens, then everyone else in the AFC? Can the Patriots really be counted out when Bill Belichick is still in charge?

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NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran discussed that topic with Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star in the latest edition of Patriots Opposing Views.

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With the Chiefs and Ravens both boasting two of the most electrifying QBs in the league, Mellinger believes they are undoubtedly the No. 1 and 2 teams in the AFC.

You always think about quarterbacks, and I love the Ravens quarterback. And I think similar to the Chiefs, the Ravens have a roster that is still pretty young. I think they have a damn good head coach and a good sort of organizational infrastructure around him. So yeah, that's the team that I would point at.

However, as Mellinger notes, it would be silly to doubt arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history. Even without Brady under center.

And even though the Texans have a pretty great QB themselves in Deshaun Watson, they can't be put in the same conversation as the Chiefs, Ravens, or Patriots.

I think we're stupid if we're going to say Bill Belichick doesn't have a chance here, right? Like, I mean he's done too much and there's still enough there.

I really like the Texans quarterback, I don't know that I like the rest around him. Yeah, it does seem like it's Chiefs, Ravens, and then everybody else, for sure.

The Tennessee Titans probably would like a word with Curran and Mellinger as well, as they defeated both the Patriots and Ravens in the playoffs last year before falling to the Chiefs in the AFC title game.

Nonetheless, the Patriots are set to begin a season as underdogs for the first time in a long time. Jarrett Stidham likely will be taking Brady's place at QB, and he'll be out to prove life without Brady ain't so bad after all, and that New England is still a contender.

Without Tom Brady on Patriots, is it all Chiefs and Ravens in the AFC? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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