Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New England Patriots Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New England Patriots rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 9.6 (10th)
  • Best ranking: 7th (The Athletic)
  • Worst ranking: 12th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 3 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 7

What we learned: Cam Newton can still sling it. The focus in Week 1 was on Newton and the Patriots' run game. But against Seattle, he completed 30 of 44 passes for 397 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Newton made a number of incredible throws, targeting Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd and N'Keal Harry. And he wasn't dinking and dunking. Newton was making high degree-of-difficulty throws downfield. His 271 air yards were the most he's produced in a game since 2011 and his second most ever. Newton also ran 11 times for 47 yards and two scores. I was skeptical that he was going to be able to produce like this in a new offense with an average supporting cast. But Newton has looked fantastic through two weeks.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

They have to do something with that defense. It's bad right now. The pass rush is non-existent. Cam Newton is going to be forced to score a lot.

USA Today -- Rank: 9

Sunday snapped streak of 64 consecutive regular-season games when New England had taken the field as the favorite. Hopefully you took Seattle and gave the points ... and yet scary to think what Cam's Pats could yet become.

ESPN -- Rank: 10

Under-the-radar fantasy standout: QB Cam Newton

ESPN's fantasy football experts had Newton as QB13 entering the season, which explains why he would fall on this type of list. Newton has been the best thing the Patriots' offense has going -- both throwing (45-of-63 for 552 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and rushing (26 carries, 122 yards, 4 TDs). There were questions entering the season about Newton's health and how quickly he could acclimate to the Patriots' system, yet those have been answered with authority through two games. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 10

Shaking off a last-second loss on Sunday Night Football is easier when the bigger picture is so easy to see. The version of Cam Newton that the Patriots grabbed off the scrap heap in July is stunningly close to the Cam Newton who won MVP with the Panthers in 2015. At least that was the level Newton played at in Week 2, throwing for nearly 400 yards and accounting for three touchdowns in a narrow 35-30 defeat. He's formed an instantaneous connection with Julian Edelman and even had N'Keal Harry making plays. The defense certainly has work to do -- Russell Wilson did pretty much whatever he wanted for four quarters -- but the pairing of Bill Belichick and Cam Newton (both men in hyper prove-'em-wrong mode) is very bad news for Patriot Haters the world over.

Previous update: New England Patriots Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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