After beating the Cincinnati Bengals Week One, everyone around the NFL was high on the Patriots. Then, after losing to the Jets Week Two, everyone jumped off the bandwagon and the Pats fell down the Power Rankings. The following week’s win over Buffalo did little to change anyone’s opinion, especially after the Bills put up 30 points on the Patriots’ defense. The Pats entered Week 4 as underdogs against the Miami Dolphins but were able to put together an incredible team win, which crept them up a few spots. However, after defeating the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, the Pats have jumped up many Power Rankings. The Ravens were the #1 or #2 team in most Power Rankings prior to facing the Patriots, but now they have dropped while the Pats have risen.
According to numerous Power Rankings from many of the big sports media outlets, the Patriots seem to be considered the #3 team in the NFL at the present time. Only the Jets and the Steelers rank ahead of them in most rankings. Here is a sampling from what I’ve found:
- ESPN has the Pats rated 3rd: Deion Branch looks as though he never left Tom Brady. It’s a dangerous combo.
- FOX Sports has the Pats rated 3rd: The one noticeable thing missing from New England’s offense with Randy Moss out of the picture is the deep passing game. Tom Brady seemed to have plenty of time to throw the ball against the Ravens, but he couldn’t find anyone consistently open down field.
- CBS Sports has the Pats rated 3rd: They are a quiet 4-1, kind of flying under the radar. As long as Tom Brady is slinging it, they will be fine.
- SI’s Peter King has the Pats rated 4th in his “Fine Fifteen: This is the team getting jobbed at the top after the best win a team had all day Sunday. The reason I’ve got New England fourth instead of second is because of how I’ve always tried to do these rankings: If New England played Baltimore on a neutral field in Wichita tomorrow, I like the Ravens. Same with the Jets. For now.
- NFL Fanhouse has the Pats rated 3rd: So that 2011 first-round pick the Patriots acquired from Oakland in exchange for Richard Seymour? Imagine if New England uses it to take Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. A dominant RB is a definite missing piece for the Pats right now.
- NFL Mocks has the Pats rated 3rd: This team just keeps getting it done, no matter who they plug in. Deion Branch had a huge game in his return to the Pats.
The Patriots need to keep getting it done on the field. If the defense continues to improve, this could be a deadly team come January. Traveling to San Diego is never easy, and the Chargers’ 2-4 record doesn’t mean much with the offense and home field advantage they have. It should be a great game Sunday.
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