Welcome to the bye week folks. The Patriots have already complied by saying bye to Michael Hoomanawanui and several practice squad members, including newly re-acquired Kenbrell Thompkins. We'll see what the roster looks like once the dust settles but for now, just adjust your fan settings to "In Bill We Trust," and relax.
Last season the Patriots were 2-1 at this point after a somewhat ugly win over the Raiders, and no one had any idea what was about to hit them in Kansas City or beyond.. They were ranked between 4th and 12th and none of the analysts were brushing off their third week of uneven performance.
Couldn't be more different this year. The offense is on fire and Josh McDaniels only sees the plays left on the field and the many ways his side of the ball can improve. Defensively, they're somewhere in the middle of the pack whether measuring by yards or points per game. The next four games will show us a bit more with two games on the road (Dallas, Indy) and two division games at home (Jets, Fins).
Enjoy a less-stressful Sunday watching football while the Patriots ice up, heal up, study up and rest up on their bye.
Around the AFC East:
Buffalo (2-1) vs. NY Giants (1-2)
NY Jets (2-1) at Miami (1-2) In London
Notable AFC Matchups:
Denver (3-0) vs. Minnesota (2-1)
Cincinnati (3-0) vs. Kansas City (1-2)
Pittsburgh (2-1) vs. Baltimore (0-3)
Oakland (2-1) at Chicago (0-3)
Indianapolis (1-2) vs. Jacksonville (1-2)
San Diego (1-2) vs. Cleveland (1-2)
Houston (1-2) at Atlanta (3-0)
Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) ranks them 1st: The Tom Brady Eff You Tour is in midseason form.
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) ranks them 1st: Tom Brady is everywhere! OK, no he's not, but it just seems that way. The Under Armour has prety much as come to life, as every time the league or an opponent tries to cut him down, another nastier one takes his place. He deserves the time off.
Mark Maske (Washington Post) ranks them 1st: The scandals and the punishments keep coming, and the Patriots keep taking it out on their opponents on the field. The Jaguars never had a chance. Could another 16-0 season with a "gate" attached to it be taking shape? It’s possible. For now, the Patriots have an early bye week to rest and keep plotting their revenge.
The AP Pro32 ranks them 1st.
Chris Burke (SI) ranks then 1st: Ah, 2007. ... Could history repeat itself there? "It's just three games in," Tom Brady said on WEEI this week when asked to compare this year to the perfect '07 run. "We're going to try to make some improvements, a lot of good execution. We need four more months of it." A reasonable approach. Still, it will be hard to ignore the hype if New England gets through an upcoming two-game road trip (at Dallas, at Indianapolis) unscathed.
Paul Chartier (WEEI) ranks them 1st: A thrashing of the Jaguars keeps the Patriots on top. After the bye, they play the injury-plagued Cowboys followed by the Colts, Jets, Dolphins, Redskins, Giants and Bills at home before their first real test in Denver against the Broncos. It’s not too early to think about Tom Brady being in the MVP conversation, which is great for the employees at 345 Park Ave.
Danny Kelly (SB Nation) ranks them 1st: Tom Brady is on a tear coming off of a summer of DeflateGate distractions. He is throwing for 370 yards per game with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 72 percent of his passes at 8.4 yards per attempt.
Dan Schneier (Fox Sports) ranks them 1st: The Patriots did not punt in Week 3 -- Tom Brady has 1,112 passing yards, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions through three games. We’re starting to see signs of improvement from a defense that saw major turnover in the secondary this offseason.
Dan Parzych (Rant Sports) ranks them 1st: Even though their matchup wasn't much of a contest, you have to give credit to how well Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have looked so far this season. Brady just continues to play at a high level as it's clear he's continuing to play with an extra chip on his shoulder thanks to the whole Deflategate nonsense.
Peter King (The MMQB) ranks the Patriots 1st: The Patriots embark on the dreaded Week 4 bye. Dreaded, because the Patriots are extremely healthy right now, and when they really need a week off, in midseason, they’ll be dragging a bit. They’ll have to play at least 13 straight weeks, while the Cards and Seahawks, for instance, get the advantageous Week 9 off. One thing you can be sure of: You won’t hear any grousing out of Belichick or Brady about something so trivial (to them) as bye placement.
Reddit ranks them 1st: PROS: The Patriots CONS: week 4 is too early for a bye. - Can someone email the league about this? They are not returning my messages.
Brent Sobleski (Bleacher Report) ranks them Tied-1st: What's Good? Multiple prolific offenses make the NFL exciting to watch each and every weekend, but none of them quite stack up to a New England Patriots offense led by the incomparable Tom Brady.... [More] What's Bad? First-round picks are expected to produce at a relatively high level during their first season. It doesn't always happen, but those are the expectations placed upon talented young players. The Patriots spent the 32nd overall pick on defensive tackle Malcom Brown. The rookie from Texas was supposed to help fill the massive void left by Vince Wilfork. Instead, Brown is currently the worst rookie interior defender graded by Pro Football Focus.
Lorenzo Reyes (USA Today) ranks them 1st: They didn't punt once Sunday, making them antithesis of 32nd team on this list. (It's starting to feel like 2007 all over again.).
Elliot Harrison (NFL.com) ranks the Patriots 2nd: New England made a serious claim for the No. 1 spot Sunday. Everybody's getting into the act: Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and what is apparently a really ticked-off Tom Brady. The Jags were never in it, truthfully. Even the one defensive play they seemingly made -- Davon House's pick of Tom Brady in the third quarter -- was called back courtesy of James Sample's mugging of Gronk in the end zone. That was about the only mugging Jacksonville did all day. Gosh, how pleasant Sunday mornings must be in New England these days ... I'll take the clam chowder and a side of 119 points in three games, please.
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) ranks them 2nd: They head to their bye week flying high. Tom Brady might be playing his best football yet.
AVERAGE RANK: 1.1