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Patriots Ranked Dead Last in Week 3 of 2001

Want to know how the Patriots were viewed before the Tom Brady era?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

(h/t to Drew Bledsoe Has No Nickname)

Do you remember what it felt like after the 2001 Week 2 game against the Jets? Do you remember when newly minted franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury that was supposed to derail the season?

Do you remember when the direction of the entire Patriots franchise changed?

This was soon after 9/11 and the NFL postponed the Week 2 match-ups until the end of the season, meaning that September 23rd was an usually late Week 2 game.

Bledsoe went down. Tom Brady stepped in. Worlds changed. Perfectly named Pulpiteer Drew Bledsoe Has No Nickname found a power ranking from the days following the injury to Bledsoe.

Current: 31. Prev: 29. New England Patriots (0-2). This is sad. Drew Bledsoe took a big hit and is out indefinitely. Honestly, I don't know what weapons they have with which to win a game.

The Houston Texans didn't exist so there were only 31 teams in the NFL.

Of course the Patriots went on to win the most important game of the season.

Moral of the story? Never count out Touchdown Tom.

EDIT: Thanks to Dylan Stalnaker for finding this gem of an interview prior to the 2002 Super Bowl.  Bledsoe, Brady, Bradshaw, and a whole lot of awkward.