A six-game win streak may be too early to tell if the New England Patriots of old are back, but the flexibility the team has shown during their rise to the top of the AFC East certainly makes them dangerous. The Patriots moved to 8-4 trouncing the Tennessee Titans in a 36-13 victory despite giving up 270 rushing yards to a team playing without their star running back, Derrick Henry.

“It’s hard to go out there and run the same play all day in this league and be successful,” Bill Belichick said. “There are just too many other good players and too many other good coaches. There’s a way to stop everything. It’s when you have to kind of handle everything, those are really the bigger problems.”

That’s what makes this team good. It’s true that the Patriots’ rushing defense, a unit that has yielded less than 270 yards in their last three games, struggled. They were inefficient in the red zone, converting just two out of five times. They rushed for just 23 yards in the first half. It’s how they won the game that should put the rest of the NFL on watch. They forced four turnovers. The Patriots’ pass defense continued their elite play, holding the Titans to just 93 yards through the air. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones had a day throwing for 310 yards.

No, this wasn’t the Patriots’ perfect game, or how they’ve won in the past. But a win is still a win, and they’ve made it clear that they can win in a variety of ways.

In typical Belichick fashion, the focus has already shifted to next week.

“Huge challenge,” Belichick said. “when the schedule came out, we knew it would be a tough game. We look forward to every game … home, away or neutral site. We need to be ready to complete. Buffalo is a great team. Sean (McDermott) has done a great job. We have to be prepared to play our best game and that’s what we are going to try to do.”

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