Rob Gronkowski touchdown celebration Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Getty Images

When the Patriots are clicking and are playing with the type of intensity that they exhibited Sunday night at Gillette, there’s little doubt they can beat any team in the league – Seattle and Denver included.

Sustaining that level of play week-in and week-out will be next to impossible going forward, but it will be interesting to see how the Pats respond to great success after responding so well to great failure.

The Patriots have fared well in games immediately following blowout wins in recent years. Since 2010, in games following wins of 24 or more points, the Pats have gone 13-3 (including playoffs). After blowing out Baltimore, 41-7, in Week 16 last season, they ripped the Bills the very next week, 34-20. They had back-to-back blowout wins in the 2012 regular season, shredding Indy, 59-24, in mid-November before slamming the Jets, 49-19, on Thanksgiving night in the famed “Butt-fumble” game.

First place in the AFC East will be on the line this coming Sunday (1 p.m., CBS) in Orchard Park, New York when the Pats and Bills tussle. Buffalo has impressed so far this season, beating the Bears in Chicago in Week 1, beating the Dolphins in Week 2 and beating the Lions in Detroit this past Sunday. Buffalo’s losses came to the Chargers and Texans, two teams with a combined 7-3 record so far this season.


Clearing up
The Patriots upcoming schedule doesn’t seem nearly as daunting after they took care of business against Cincy. In fact, the Pats’ next three opponents have a combined record of just 6-9 this season. New England is at Buffalo before coming home for a Thursday night date with the Jets on Oct. 16. They host the Bears the following week, on Oct. 26.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS

Latest From ...