NFL FanHouse ranks them 1st (+2): Look out, NFL. The Patriots have put together the rag-tag collection of talent that Bill Belichick works best with, and Tom Brady -- with his Tim Lincecum tribute haircut -- is locked in one of those cool and breezy zones.
The Sporting News ranks them 1st (+2): Brady has a modest 12 touchdowns to only four interceptions, but he's posted his best passer rating (96.6) since '07.
National Football Post ranks them 1st (+2): The Pats closed out the Vikings with a 13-play drive in the 4th quarter—a style that sells in the NFL.
Fox Sports ranks them 1st (+2): Well, they continue to win, but aren't exactly pretty while doing it. But who cares, right? New England's young defense is steadily getting better while the offense is starting to find its way. Some might say they aren't as good as their record indicates, but this team is one of the few that does not have a lot of weaknesses.
WEEI ranks them 1st (+2): The news for the Patriots got even better this week with reports emerging that Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins will return to the team on Tuesday. The Patriots are looking more and more like the team we saw dominate the past decade. They’re an extremely disciplined team that doesn’t commit many penalties and rarely turns the ball over. They rank at the top of the league in both of those categories. Bill Belichick’s young defense seems to be improving and gaining confidence each week. Jerod Mayo leads the league with 86 tackles.
CBS Sports ranks them 1st (+2): They've quietly put together a five-game winning streak. They are the chased now in the division and in the conference.
ESPN ranks them 1st (+2): A favorable second-half schedule could set up the Patriots for a 12- or 13-win season.
Pro Football Talk ranks them 1st (+2): As if being the only 6-1 team in the league weren't enough, coach Bill Belichick gets bonus points for pulling off the ultimate con on the Vikings.
NFL.com ranks them 1st (+2)
Peter King ranks them 1st (+2): Adrian Peterson found out Sunday it might not be so easy to try to make a season-saving yard against the Patriots defensive front, which looked absolutely impenetrable for stretches against the Vikes.
USA Today ranks them 1st (+2): Claimed NFL's best record after win over Vikings.
Cold Hard Football Facts ranks them 1st (+3): The Patriots are 26th in net yards, meaning they’re losing the battles. But they’re definitely winning the wars -- second in net points. And, of course, first in wins, which is a pretty important stat itself.
Pro Football Weekly ranks them 1st (+3): Young defense makes enough big plays each week.
Don Banks ranks them 1st (+3): How is it that the Patriots, with all their youth-related defensive issues and lack of big-name offensive weapons, are the only remaining one-loss team this season? It's another reminder of the edge that superior coaching supplies in the NFL. You can't overstate what Bill Belichick's work has meant thus far this year in New England. But as the Pats visit Cleveland this week, why aren't we hearing anything about Belichick's return to the city that once spurned him or about the latest chapter in his feud with Browns coach Eric Mangini?
AVERAGE RANK: 1 (Wow)