Raise your hand if you saw that one coming.
Now, that's not to say that it's a wild and crazy concept to have believed in August that a team with Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as its head coach would be able to win some football games. Yet, considering the disheartening loss to the Jets, the surprising trade of Randy Moss and the abundance of rookies and second-year players seeing significant playing time, it's sort of hard to believe they're at No. 1.
Of course, as always with the Patriots, that doesn't matter.
"We've won six games, [but] if we have six wins at the end of the year, then we haven't done anything," Brady said after the Patriots' 28-18 win over the Vikings on Halloween. "There?s a lot of football left."
That's true, but as it stands now, the Patriots are at the top of the league — both in the standings and in opinions around the country.
It's pretty impressive, and it's well-deserved, but are the Patriots really the best team in the NFL?
Belichick will tell you that "stats are for losers," but the Patriots rank 28th in the league in yards allowed per game and 19th in the league in offensive yards per game. Maybe those numbers really are for losers, though, as they rank first in points per game with 29.3. That can certainly make up for any shortcomings.
There are also still a number of question marks on the team. Second-year corner Darius Butler has had sparse playing time after getting lit up in New York in Week 2, and Kyle Arrington's been spotty in his place. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead are doing a good job of holding together the backfield, but can the Patriots maintain their current status without a featured back?
Ultimately, the argument in Week 9 over who the best team in the league is might not be remembered. At this date, though, it's a worthy discussion.