NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Patriots rise after Sunday night thriller

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 20: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 20, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 20: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 20, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

A 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks didn’t stop the New England Patriots from rising in this week’s NFL Power Rankings.

The New England Patriots jumped two spots to No. 10 in the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings despite a 35-30 loss to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.

In a game that proved to the rest of the NFL that the Patriots are still a team that will have a say in the AFC, Cam Newton looked like MVP Cam Newton in passing for nearly 400 yards in the loss.

Most impressively, it is the way he led them back in the game.  Down 35-23 late in the fourth quarter, the Newton and Julian Edelman connection found its magic in answering with a touchdown to make the score 35-30.  After the defense stepped up and got a stop, Newton led the Patriots on a two-minute mission down the field that stopped a yard short of upsetting the Seahawks.

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In all, it was a statement game for the New England Patriots.  A game that proved the offense can be effective with Newton under center and a game that showed a team that will compete for the playoffs.

It also showed a team that can compete with teams in the top 5 of the NFL Power Rankings.  Rounding out that top five is the Seattle Seahawks (No. 5), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 4), Green Bay Packers (No. 3), Kansas City Chiefs (No. 2) and Baltimore Ravens (No. 1).

Another litmus test coming up is the Week 4 battle with Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Champions.  Will the Patriots continue to rise?’s Dan Hanzus is looking into the crystal ball when placing the New England Patriots into the top 10 despite the loss because of Bill Belichick and a health Cam Newton:

"“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.”"

Where the New England Patriots stand

In rising two spots to No. 10, the New England Patriots are in a good spot following two games.

Already, they have proven they can win and compete with different styles of play behind the resurgence of Cam Newton.

Can they keep that and continue to improve offensively?

Well, the more Newton gets use to the offense and build on chemistry with Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd, the more multi-dimensional the offense will be.

The defense, which struggled a bit against the Seattle Seahawks will also get better as the season moves alone.  If injuries don’t get in the way, sky is the limit for this football team.

Teams ranked right behind them like the Dallas Cowboys (No. 11) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 12) may be more talented, but as long as the New England Patriots have the coaching, they will always be a step ahead of most teams.

Where the New England Patriots should stand

If there is any argument over the No. 10 ranking despite the loss to the Seattle Seahawks, it could come from Arizona Cardinals fans whose team is off to a 2-0 start.

Coming in at No. 13, one could argue that they should at least be No. 10, which would push the New England Patriots back to No. 11.  But this is where coaching and experience at quarterback is in favor of the Patriots.

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In all, they are in a very good spot.  If they take care of the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday and are competitive with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4, Bill Belichick and crew will be in great position to make a strong playoff push.

There is a lot of room for improvement, but the 2020 New England Patriots are already showing they will be a fun team to watch, especially with that man Cam Newton under center.