NFL Fanhouse ranks them 6th (+2): The Patriots had a little bit of difficulty getting by Buffalo, and a leaky pass defense looks like it may doom the team this year. Never count Tom Brady or the revolving-door running game out, but a defense that allows 30 points to the Bills former backup QB isn't one I'm investing in.
CBS Sports ranks them 8th (+1): That defense might make any offense look good. It looks like they will play their fair share of shootouts.Don Banks ranks them 9th (-1): The good news is that no one in the NFL has scored more than the Patriots, who are averaging 30 points per game. The bad news is that the four teams that have given up more than New England's total of 82 points allowed all reside in last place in their respective divisions. It's probably going to be that kind of year in Foxboro. Plenty of points all around.
NFL.com ranks them 9th (+1)
ESPN ranks them 10th (-1): With a defense giving up an average of 27.3 points a game, Bill Belichick isn't afraid to bench anyone.
What If Sports ranks them 10th (nc)
USA Today ranks them 11th (-2): Surrendering 30 points to the Bills didn't answer any questions.
Cold Hard Football Facts ranks them 11th (nc): Randy Moss in 2010? Nine catches and three drops, but three touchdowns and one of the best highlight grabs of the year. Guess you take the good with the bad.
WEEI ranks them 11th (-2): The Patriots defense has allowed 27 points per game after three weeks of football. Opposing offenses are having their way against the Pats D and that is forcing Tom Brady and the Patriots offensive attack to put 30-plus points on the board every week. New England looks like a mediocre team at this point in the season.
Fox Sports ranks them 13th (-6): Their offense has few issues. It's on the defensive side of the ball where New England is going to have to improve if they want to go deep into the playoffs. When the Buffalo passing game is finding success against you, then you know there are problems. The lack of a pass rush has been a contributing factor toward the struggles of their young secondary.
Peter King ranks them 15th (-4): I am shocked to be putting Scott Pioli's new team ahead of his old team. But I've watched the Chiefs and Patriots play defense over the last three weeks, and there's no doubt the defense that's played better -- much better -- is Kansas City's. Points allowed per game: Kansas City 12.7, New England 27.3.
AVERAGE RANK: 9.7