Power Rankings: Will Pats be unbeatable with AB?

Power Rankings: Will Pats be unbeatable with AB?

Brown is a mastermind who orchestrated a move to the Patriots. Maybe he’s just incapable of being a professional and happened to land on his feet because he’s supremely talented. He could have an All-Pro season. He could be cut by Saturday. If we’ve learned anything about Brown over the past few weeks, it’s that we don’t know what he’ll do next.’ data-reactid=”14″>For some reason, everyone seems to assume Brown will assimilate into The Patriot Way and we’ll never have another helmet tantrum, phone call published, missed meeting or any other thing that drove Brown out of Pittsburgh and Oakland. Many people seem to think Brown is a mastermind who orchestrated a move to the Patriots. Maybe he’s just incapable of being a professional and happened to land on his feet because he’s supremely talented. He could have an All-Pro season. He could be cut by Saturday. If we’ve learned anything about Brown over the past few weeks, it’s that we don’t know what he’ll do next.

Josh Gordon and Brown in the Randy Moss and Wes Welker roles, it would be hard to replicate a team that went 16-0.’ data-reactid=”17″>It’s way, way too early to compare this team to the 2007 Patriots, perhaps the most dominant team in NFL history. Even if we put Josh Gordon and Brown in the Randy Moss and Wes Welker roles, it would be hard to replicate a team that went 16-0.

But when you look at the schedule, it doesn’t appear they’ll lose for a while. Here are the Patriots’ games through the end of October:

Week 2, at Miami

New York Giants‘ data-reactid=”23″>Week 6, vs. New York Giants

Week 7, at New York Jets

Week 8, vs. Cleveland

Find the loss in that group. Buffalo, which has a very good defense, could give New England problems. Maybe. Any other loss on that schedule would be a big upset.

The Patriots play at Baltimore and at Philadelphia, with a bye week in between, to start November. There are games against the Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs after that. The Patriots aren’t going 16-0 again. But it’s probably best to prepare yourself for them heading into November undefeated. And it’s hard, after watching them destroy the Steelers 33-3, to imagine they lose more than three times this season.

thanks a lot, AFC East). If Brown is finally interested in playing football, New England’s ceiling goes even higher. If the road to the Super Bowl is going through anywhere but Foxborough in January, the Chiefs or someone else will need a nearly perfect season.’ data-reactid=”29″>Let’s pencil in the Patriots for an 8-0 start, then a loss either at Baltimore or Philadelphia to end the 16-0 talk. But the schedule as a whole is soft and 13-3 or better seems like a reasonable expectation (thanks a lot, AFC East). If Brown is finally interested in playing football, New England’s ceiling goes even higher. If the road to the Super Bowl is going through anywhere but Foxborough in January, the Chiefs or someone else will need a nearly perfect season.

It’s not too early to start worrying about the Patriots crashing your Super Bowl party again. They might be as good as ever.

Tom Brady and the Patriots looked as good as ever in Week 1. (Getty Images)

Here are the NFL Power Rankings after Week 1 of the season:

according to Pro Football Reference, and the biggest season-opening loss for any NFL team since 1989. Those 1973 Saints improved a lot by Week 2, however, losing in a much closer 40-3 game at Dallas.’ data-reactid=”44″>It could have been worse. The 1973 Saints lost their opener to the Falcons 62-7. That’s the biggest Week 1 blowout ever. But Miami’s 49-point loss is sixth on that list, according to Pro Football Reference, and the biggest season-opening loss for any NFL team since 1989. Those 1973 Saints improved a lot by Week 2, however, losing in a much closer 40-3 game at Dallas.

without injured running back Derrius Guice, who was a potential bright spot this season. It’s not going to get much better.’ data-reactid=”46″>Do you get the feeling the first 20 minutes of the season, when the Redskins led the Eagles 17-0, might be the high point of this Washington season? Now the Redskins move forward without injured running back Derrius Guice, who was a potential bright spot this season. It’s not going to get much better.

Jameis Winston, saying the first two interceptions weren’t his fault (h/t to Greg Auman of The Athletic). That’s fine; not all interceptions are a quarterback’s fault. But it doesn’t explain why Winston was terrible the entire game against the 49ers.’ data-reactid=”52″>Bruce Arians defended Jameis Winston, saying the first two interceptions weren’t his fault (h/t to Greg Auman of The Athletic). That’s fine; not all interceptions are a quarterback’s fault. But it doesn’t explain why Winston was terrible the entire game against the 49ers.

28. Arizona Cardinals (0-0-1, LW: 31)‘ data-reactid=”55″>28. Arizona Cardinals (0-0-1, LW: 31)

Kyler Murray was 9-of-25 for 70 yards through three quarters. He had 238 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Cardinals rallied to salvage a tie. So, which Murray is going to be moving forward?

Gardner Minshew is Kurt Warner 2.0. Realistically, an entire organization had the air sucked out of it with one Nick Foles injury. It’s not like the season was over less than a quarter into it, but all the realistic expectations changed in an instant. That’s how fast things can change in the NFL.’ data-reactid=”58″>Maybe Gardner Minshew is Kurt Warner 2.0. Realistically, an entire organization had the air sucked out of it with one Nick Foles injury. It’s not like the season was over less than a quarter into it, but all the realistic expectations changed in an instant. That’s how fast things can change in the NFL.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1, LW: 30)‘ data-reactid=”65″>25. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1, LW: 30)

Not all losses are the same. The Bengals went into a tough Seattle stadium, without A.J. Green, after some hits to the offensive line, lost Joe Mixon to a sprained ankle and still almost won. They outgained Seattle 429-233. It was a tough loss but the Bengals should feel good after one game of the Zac Taylor era.

23. Oakland Raiders (1-0 LW: 26)‘ data-reactid=”69″>23. Oakland Raiders (1-0 LW: 26)

22. New York Jets (0-1, LW: 20)‘ data-reactid=”71″>22. New York Jets (0-1, LW: 20)

21. Atlanta Falcons (0-1, LW: 17)‘ data-reactid=”73″>21. Atlanta Falcons (0-1, LW: 17)

That was bad. Much worse than the 28-12 final would indicate. The Falcons can’t blame defensive injuries, as they did most of last season. They were overmatched in every way. It’s not the end of the world to lose to a good Vikings team on the road, but they better play a lot better, and fast.

19. Buffalo Bills (1-0, LW: 24)‘ data-reactid=”77″>19. Buffalo Bills (1-0, LW: 24)

Devin Singletary played most of the running back snaps Sunday, but had just four carries. He had 70 yards on those four carries. You have to assume the Bills will actually hand Singletary the ball more going forward.

17. Cleveland Browns (0-1, LW: 9)‘ data-reactid=”85″>17. Cleveland Browns (0-1, LW: 9)

There’s no bigger overreaction in sports than the post-Week 1 NFL overreaction. We wait months for something to happen, and we draw sweeping conclusions based on one game. The Browns looked bad against the Titans. Their history should make you skeptical. Perhaps Freddie Kitchens was a terrible hire, or the offensive line is what will sink them. But let’s calm down first. This is still a superbly talented roster. The Browns had a bad game. It doesn’t mean they can’t be very good this season.

15. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, LW: 13)‘ data-reactid=”89″>15. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, LW: 13)

I wouldn’t feel great if I were the Seahawks. The Bengals thoroughly outplayed Seattle, and the Seahawks were fortunate to get a 21-20 win. Next week’s game at Pittsburgh will be telling.

13. Houston Texans (0-1, LW: 16)‘ data-reactid=”93″>13. Houston Texans (0-1, LW: 16)

How can you be a coach in the NFL and decide to give the Saints 9 free yards to set up a 58-yard field goal at the end of regulation? Why would that ever make sense?

11. Baltimore Ravens (1-0, LW: 12)‘ data-reactid=”99″>11. Baltimore Ravens (1-0, LW: 12)

Presumably, Lamar Jackson won’t have a perfect passer rating all season. But he probably won’t have just 6 rushing yards too often either. Jackson doesn’t need to be a great passer. If Sunday is a sign he can be a good passer? He can be in the MVP conversation and the Ravens can win a Super Bowl. He can be the most dangerous weapon in the NFL, just like he was at Louisville. Now we see if his start was a product of facing a terrible Dolphins defense, or if the progress is legit.

9. Minnesota Vikings (1-0, LW: 14)‘ data-reactid=”103″>9. Minnesota Vikings (1-0, LW: 14)

Among all the Week 1 headlines, the Vikings’ dominant performance got overlooked. They trashed the Falcons on both sides of the ball. Kirk Cousins threw only 10 times because the Vikings didn’t need any more. Maybe the Vikings’ hype just came a year too early. They looked as good as anyone outside of New England in the opening week.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, LW: 7)‘ data-reactid=”111″>7. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, LW: 7)

Austin Ekeler’s 154-yard game won’t cause the Chargers to go back to the negotiating table with Melvin Gordon. Even if Gordon reports, Ekeler is going to have a role. He can play.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, LW: 5)‘ data-reactid=”115″>5. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, LW: 5)

I’m willing to excuse the slow start to not playing anyone in the preseason. It was scary, but by the end Carson Wentz had 313 yards and three touchdowns and the Eagles got a win. They’re fine.

3. New Orleans Saints (1-0, LW: 3)‘ data-reactid=”119″>3. New Orleans Saints (1-0, LW: 3)

It’s not the best news that they so easily gave up 75 yards to Deshaun Watson in the last minute, but Watson will do that to plenty of teams before he’s done. The good news: Drew Brees is still a top-five all-time quarterback.

1. New England Patriots (1-0, LW: 1)‘ data-reactid=”123″>1. New England Patriots (1-0, LW: 1)

The Patriots won in a rout with Sony Michel getting 14 yards on 15 carries. It’s probably safe to assume he’ll be much better going forward, like the Patriots’ offense needs any more help.

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