ESPN ranks them 2nd: An upcoming showdown with the Steelers could be a postseason preview.
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) ranks them 2nd: Coming out of their bye, they have a tough road test at Pittsburgh against the Steelers. Then again, Tom Brady seems to eat them alive.
NFL.com ranks them 2nd: No changes here after a bye week in New England. What are the chances Bob Kraft spent the off week contemplating moving back to the Pat Patriot jersey for the rest of the season? Just wondering.
WEEI ranks them 2nd: There aren’t many better than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick coming off a bye week. The last time the Patriots lost following the bye was in 2002. That said, the Steelers passing game with Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace will be a tremendous challenge for the Patriots pass defense. The return of Jerod Mayo, a healthy Albert Haynesworth and the continued solid play from Brandon Spikes should help the Patriots improve on defense the rest of the way.
Pro Football Talk ranks them 2nd: If Stephen Ross bought the Steelers instead of the Dolphins, Heinz Field would be hosting this Sunday a celebration of the 2001 and 2004 New England Super Bowl champions.
Brian Billick (Fox Sports) ranks them 2nd: With a win at Pittsburgh, the Patriots can take a big step toward being something more than just Tom Brady. The offense is ideally suited to take on the Steelers' defense, but Ben Roethlisberger may stretch their defense in a way they can't handle.
Peter King (SI) ranks them 4th: Bob Kraft is not letting looming free agent Wes Welker get away. He can't. You don't let the leading receiver in the NFL over the past five seasons go, and Welker doesn't want to go anywhere either.
Don Banks (SI) ranks them 2nd: The Patriots are catching the Steelers when they're hot, with Pittsburgh on a three-game winning streak and holding down first place in their division for the first time all season. But New England has never really feared playing in front of the crazies at Heinz Field. Tom Brady and Co. have shut up their share of Steelers crowds over the years, and the Patriots just seem to match up well against Pittsburgh's aggressive tendencies on defense.
Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) ranks them 2nd: If the Pats’ pass defense is this lousy in games, how badly do New England’s defensive backs get abused by Tom Brady in practice?
Cold Hard Football Facts ranks them 2nd: The average offense this year is amassing 367.1 yards and 20.9 first downs a game. The Patriots have been over both marks in each of their six games. They’ve had 25+ offensive first downs each week, something they only did three times with their No. 1 scoring offense a year ago.
AVERAGE RANK: 2.2