Week one and the winning
is easy comes down to a classic clutch drive by Brady and a field goal in the final seconds.
It doesn't quite roll off the tongue (or ease the nerves), but that's pretty much where we're at heading into a short-week, Thursday night game against the Jets.
'Sloppy', 'ugly', 'rusty', 'uneven', 'no style points'... that's the gist of the Week 1 reviews that have the Patriots ranked anywhere from 4th to 9th. In the end the team eked out a win and that still carries weight - even with Brady having to break in almost a whole new crop of receivers in the process.
I don't care if it's week one, the Patriots are 1-0 baby!
Mike Tanier (Sports on Earth) ranks them 4th: Sloppy, worrisome win, but they are the Patriots. That counts, yes?
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) ranks them 4th: It was pretty ugly at times in Buffalo, but they found a way. They have to get more production from that passing game.
Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) ranks them 4th: Not going to move them down all that much. You just knew Tom Brady was winning that game at the end, right?
Ryan Van Bibber (SB Nation) ranks them 4th: Rust kept a road game against the Bills much closer than it would have been otherwise. By the end of the month, the Patriots should be the efficient, humorless football machine we've come to expect. A new crop of receivers doesn't seem to be a problem either.
Brian Billick (Fox Sports) ranks them 5th: It was ugly for the most part, but they snuck out with a win and that's what most important. Stevan Ridley's fumbling problem revealed one of the few bright spots for this offense in Shane Vereen, but now the latter will miss about a month with a wrist injury. Overcoming all this adversity early will make them better late in the season.
Pro Football Focus ranks them 5th: Danny Amendola jumped back in and served as Brady’s go-to option in the Gronkowski-Welker-Hernandez void, but it still took a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to get the Patriots past the Bills. A tight win in the opener kept them from dropping, and they actually slide into the Top 5, but questions remain unanswered.
Chris Burke (SI) ranks them 5th: Tom Brady is to short-yardage QB sneaks what Tom Brady is to dating attractive women. So proof that the Patriots were out of whack Sunday came when Brady fumbled on a 4th-and-goal at the Buffalo 1. That said, not many teams can deliver such an uneven performance and still win on the road against a division rival.
Elliot Harrison (NFL.com) ranks them 5th: After losses by the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, New England moves to fifth. Was Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills the most impressive win of the Bill Belichick era? Maybe not. But it was a win in the AFC East on the road with new personnel at the skill positions. That was a heck of a game, Shane Vereen ... 159 yards on 21 total touches.
The AP Pro32 ranks them 5th.
ESPN experts rank them 5th: A near loss in Buffalo wasn't pretty, but Danny Amendola looked good. Amendola had nine catches for first downs, a total Wes Welker reached twice in 77 games since 2008.
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) ranks them 5th: It's always interesting in Buffalo, and the bottom line, Tom Brady found enough from his remixed supporting cast to bail them and get them to the expected 1-0. How they move up: Drop style points with a blowout win over an overmatched opponent we've grown to expect. How they move down: More offensive mistakes, and the defense continuing to struggle vs. a rookie quarterback.
WEEI ranks them 6th: It may be a few weeks before the Patriots’ well-oiled machine of an offense returns. Tom Brady and his receivers struggled to get on the same page and likely will need a few more games to figure it out. Thankfully for New Englanders, their schedule allows them some time to iron out the kinks.
USA Today ranks them 6th: Tom Brady's aimed a total 17 passes at three rookies; they caught four.
Hank Gola (NY Daily News) ranks them 7th: Tom Brady saves the day, again.
Peter King (MMQB.SI) ranks them 9th: No style points in NFL victories, which is a good thing for the Patriots.
Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) ranks them 9th: So when do the defensive players start playing a little offense?
AVERAGE RANK: 5.1