Okay, I admit it. First drive by the Vikings Sunday (7 plays, 80 yds, TD, 4.06 min.) was more than a little annoying and spurred some black humor from our crowd about the so-called improved Patriots defense. First drive by the Patriots (3 plays, 9 yds, Punt, 1.29 min.) was downright deflating.
Not only was the word 'deflating' used casually, but compare those 2014 drives with the first drives by the Bills (10 plays, 80 yds, TD, 5 min.) and the Patriots (3 plays, 2 yds, Punt, 1.34 min.) on Sunday. It's uncanny how similar a start it was.
Next up is a home game against the 1-1 Jaguars who are pretty confident after beating the Dolphins. You won't find me panicking (at least outwardly) if Jacksonville happens to drive the length of the field for a touchdown on the first drive, followed by a Patriots 3-and-out.
Why? Because of history. And it's the Patriots. At home. Against the Jaguars.
Around the AFC East:
Miami (1-1) vs. Buffalo (1-1)
NY Jets (2-0) vs. Philadelphia (0-2)
Notable AFC Matchups:
Denver (2-0) at Detroit (0-2)
Cincinnati (2-0) at Baltimore (0-2)
Cleveland (1-1) vs. Oakland (1-1)
Pittsburgh (1-1) at. St. Louis (1-1)
Tennessee (1-1) vs. Indianapolis (0-2)
Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) ranks them 1st: Tom Brady has obtained no apparent motivation from his offseason predicament. None whatsoever.
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) ranks them 1st: The Tom Brady Fiery Venteance Tour is bound to keep rockin' out a little louder with each week, and hell look to keep on chucking at epic proportions to overcome some of their defensive holes.
ESPN Experts rank them 1st: Tom Brady has seven TD passes and no interceptions to start the 2015 season. That's Brady's best TD-INT differential in the first two games of a season for his career.
Mark Maske (Washington Post) ranks them 1st: QB Tom Brady has thrown for 754 yards and seven TDs with no interceptions in two games. Thus, the league’s MVP through Week 2 has been U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.
The AP Pro32 ranks them 1st.
Chris Burke (SI) ranks then 1st: An early 36-yard Rob Gronkowski catch Sunday came with Gronkowski lined up out wide and Edelman in the slot next to him. So, too, did Edelman's game-tying touchdown reception a few plays later. Defenses still have not really solved either Gronkowski or Edelman, individually. When the Patriots pair them up on the same side of the field, it's almost unfair.
Danny Kelly (SB Nation) ranks them 1st: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots picked apart Buffalo's elite defense to the tune of 24 first-half points and pushed their lead to 37-13 late in the third quarter before the Bills mounted a furious comeback attempt. The way that New England moved the ball at will against such a strong, disciplined defense on the road was extremely impressive, and the Patriots are well deserving of the top spot this week.
Dan Schneier (Fox Sports) ranks them 1st: Tom Brady has been able to carve up defenses to the tune of 754 yards passing with seven touchdowns and no interceptions through two games. If the Patriots continue to improve with experience along their young but talented defensive line, they will stay atop the rankings.
Dan Parzych (Rant Sports) ranks them 1st: We all knew Tom Brady plays better when he's angry, but if the first two games are any indication--it's clear Brady is quite angry over the Deflategate scandal. With seven touchdowns over his first two games, Brady could be in for another record-breaking season with the Patriots.
Frank Schwab (Shutdown Corner) ranks them 1st: Julian Edelman has 22 catches in two games. That's a pace for 176. The record is 143, by Marvin Harrison in 2002. Nobody else has gone for more than 129 in a season.
Peter King (The MMQB) ranks the Patriots 1st: No team track-meets a Rex Ryan team the way the Patriots did. And New England has 11 sacks after two games. The Patriots have been controlling on both sides of the ball, despite the mirage of 53 points allowed. It doesn’t feel like a generous defense. At all.
Reddit ranks them 1st: The Patriots looked good on Sunday. The offense is executing at a very high level, though there are some questions in the defensive secondary and run defense. Some fans looking at this team and this schedule might start counting wins, but luckily for them, Bill and the Patriots are only thinking about Jacksonville right now.
Elliot Harrison (NFL.com) ranks the Patriots 2nd: Tom Brady answered the bell again, this time like the future Hall of Famer he is, hitting three touchdown passes while narrowly missing on a few potential additional scores. What an unbelievable catch by Danny Amendola down the seam to seal the day. All that said, the Steelers -- sans Le'Veon Bell -- were able to move the ball downfield handily against the Patriots' defense on opening night, and then on Sunday, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor made more than a few New Englanders nervous late. The unit is still suspect: 813 yards allowed in two games.
Brent Sobleski (Bleacher Report) ranks them 2nd: No matter what opponents do, the New England Patriots hold the mental edge over all of them. Despite the drama around this franchise, Bill Belichick is still the best coach in the business, and Tom Brady continues to play at a Hall of Fame level. It's never been more obvious than when the Patriots went to Buffalo on Sunday and scored 40 points against the NFL's most talented defense. Bills head coach Rex Ryan says a lot of things, but he's never been more honest than when he admitted to reporters that Belichick "outcoached" him during the contest. ...[more].
Lorenzo Reyes (USA Today) ranks them 2nd: Don't look now, but Tom Brady has set an early pace that would allow him to break Peyton's passing, TD records.
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) ranks them 2nd: They showed the Bills that they are the kings of the division. Tom Brady lit up that Rex Ryan defense.
AVERAGE RANK: 1.3