In the '90s movie, Falling Down, Michael Douglas's character compares the burger he just ordered to the big lit-up sign behind the counter that advertises how it's supposed to look.
Bill Foster pointing to the sign and holding his burger: It's plump, juicy, three inches thick. Look at this sorry, miserable, squashed thing. Can anybody tell me what's wrong with this picture?
That petty much sums up my disappointment in the team's performance in Seattle. I swear I ordered the deluxe 2012 New England Patriots on Sunday, but three quarters of the way through it was evident someone had slipped me the plainer, heartless 2009 version instead. (Yuck!) And just like that team, I didn't feel like finishing either. Now what about this Sunday, a prime-time, home-game against the Jets? We're getting the full meal deal baby, and I'm going to savor every second.
MJD Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) ranks them 7th: Losing in Seattle is about the most forgivable thing in the league right now ‒ the defense and the crowd there are ferocious (as was the rain Sunday), and it seemed to affect even the usually unflappable Patriots. I've got concerns about the secondary there, but as far as New England's general outlook going forward, they'll be fine. They're not going to play defenses like Seattle's every week, and they'll tuck the ball back into the belly of Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley, and all will be well. Except the secondary.
NFL.com experts rank them 7th.
ESPN ranks them 7th: New England has lost seven games since 2009 in which it held the lead with under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Pro Football Talk ranks them 8th: Gisele says her husband can’t prevent Sidney Rice from splitting double coverage.
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) ranks them 8th: Grading the QB: Tom Brady (A). Brady will be the first to tell you he had a bad game in the red zone against Seattle. He can play much better, and you can bet he'll be fired up to do so against the Jets.
The AP Pro32 ranks them 8th.
WEEI ranks them 8th: The Patriots’ inability to close out games has become alarming. Bill Belichick‘s team already has matched its loss total from 2011. It’s evident the secondary still is among the worst in the league. The Patriots should still win the division, but fans will be looking to see improvement as the season continues.
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) ranks them 8th: All of a sudden, they are playing for first place in the division against the Jets. That was a fourth-quarter meltdown in Seattle.
National Football Post ranks them 9th: Poor coaching decisions, turnovers and lousy secondary play. That will get you beat on the road.
Pro Football Weekly ranks them 9th: Defense needs LB Hightower and S Gregory back ASAP.
Don Banks (SI) ranks them 9th: That New England pass defense is becoming a problem again this season (8.1 net yards per pass attempt), and it got exposed with the game on the line in Seattle. Fortunately for the Patriots, it's Jets week, and New York quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for just 82 yards in the win over the Colts, with most of the damage coming via the Jets ground game. First place (and last place) in the AFC East is on the line Sunday in Foxboro, even if it doesn't really feel like it.
Brian Billick (Fox Sports) ranks them 9th: The Patriots are .500 for the season at just 3-3, but I just can’t bring myself to rank a Tom Brady-led team any lower than this. They will bounce back next week against the division-rival Jets.
Elliot Harrison (NFL.com) ranks them 9th: Like it or not, Pats fans, your team is 3-3, and rightfully so. Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner are rookies (and usually backups, for that reason), and it showed on the Seattle Seahawks' go-ahead touchdown from Sidney Rice. Rice was several yards behind the Patriots' secondary on the 46-yard score. This was a game you thought Tom Brady would pull out in the end, but playing Seattle's defense on the road is a tough assignment.
Joel Thurman (SB Nation) ranks them 9th: Ah, the Patriots. This ranking will probably anger some people who think they should be ranked lower. Where would you put them?
Peter King (SI) ranks them 9th: Ran 85 plays with the quick-strike offense, and rolled up enough yards to win, 475 of them. But Wilson made more big plays down the stretch than the quarterback he grew up loving, Tom Brady.
Cold Hard Football Facts ranks them 15th: Now eight spots below where they sat last week, the Pats three losses have come by a combined total of four points. Four measly points.
AVERAGE RANK: 8.7 (-3.4)