The Patriots have played well against some weaker teams these past two weeks. Big challenges coming up over the next five weeks -- 2 games vs. the Dolphins, at the Colts, vs. the Jets, and at the Saints. They'll need to keep improving over the bye week to be up to the task.
I think that their defense is the surprising part of the team. They've played very well. The offense has done OK, but needs to be more efficient against the better defenses.
They seem to be in good position to win the division, but I think it will be challenging to get a first round bye in the playoffs. Denver and Indianapolis have two game leads vs. the Pats on that front, and Denver already beat the Pats head-to-head. The Pats will have to beat Indy to have a chance for a first-round bye. Otherwise, they'll be on the road for much of the playoffs.
I'm going to the game in Indianapolis in November. Should be a great time, and, coincidentally, I'm also going to the Celtics-Pacers game the night before. My team jerseys will get a good workout on the road!