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NFL Power Rankings: Patriots Are NFL's Best Heading into Week 3

FOXBORO, MA -  SEPTEMBER 18:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots hands the ball to  BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots during a game with the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Joseph HealyCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2011

Writing off the Patriots as a Super Bowl contender is a time-honored tradition. Every year, it seems that reasons are found that the Patriots can't challenge to win another Super Bowl and every year, they find themselves right in the thick of things.

This year felt a little different for one reason or another. The Patriots were being talked about as possible AFC favorites. It's still early of course, but they have lived up to every bit of the hype.

Just two weeks into the season, the Patriots have established themselves as the best team in the NFL and there should be very little argument on that.

They started their season with a win over division rival Miami on Monday Night Football. It was in that game that Tom Brady started his campaign to be the back-to-back MVP winner, as he threw for over 500 yards.

In Week 2, they were even more impressive. The Patriots took what most expected to be the most competitive game on the schedule and made it decidedly non-competitive. They beat the Chargers 35-21 and it wasn't really even that close.

Brady again did all he could to prove that he is the best player in the game. He threw for another 423 yards in this win.

This all leads up to an intriguing matchup in Week 3 of the season between the Patriots and the upstart Buffalo Bills, who have been the biggest surprise of the season so far.

Like they have been so often in the past, the Patriots are the best team in the league. The biggest difference this year is that the players on the team aren't the only ones that believe it.

Joseph Healy's NFL Power Rankings Ahead of Week 3

1. New England Patriots

2. Green Bay Packers

3. Philadelphia Eagles

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

5. New Orleans Saints

6. Houston Texans

7. San Diego Chargers

8. Atlanta Falcons

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. New York Jets

11. Detroit Lions

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13. Dallas Cowboys

14. Buffalo Bills

15. Chicago Bears

16. St. Louis Rams

17. New York Giants

18. Tennessee Titans

19. Washington Redskins

20. Arizona Cardinals

21. Minnesota Vikings

22. Jacksonville Jaguars

23. Cleveland Browns

24. Oakland Raiders

25. Indianapolis Colts

26. San Francisco 49ers

27. Carolina Panthers

28. Miami Dolphins

29. Denver Broncos

30. Cincinnati Bengals

31. Seattle Seahawks

32. Kansas City Chiefs

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