Ranks: Another shootout ahead for Pats? 

September, 28, 2011
The New England Patriots are playing some very interesting football this season, with 79 points and 1,406 yards through three games. Of course, I'm not referring to what they're doing offensively. We know Tom Brady and Wes Welker are great; the offense has accounted for 1,621 yards, the most ever for a team through three games. But the team's defense has been, uh, not so great. The 2-1 Patriots have allowed 1,406 yards, the fifth-most for a defense through three games since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger.

As a result, I can justify my generous Week 4 rankings of Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell and wide receivers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford. Moore, a speedy, exciting Tennessee product, had a huge Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills, and last week against the New York Jets he scored on a 23-yard run. Meanwhile, Ford's hamstring injury, from which he's expected to return this week, doesn't scare me. Ford, who averaged a cool 18.8 yards per reception last season (which would have ranked tied for fifth in the league had he caught more passes), hasn't played since Week 1 but claims his goal was this game against the Patriots.

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Cary Edmondson/US PresswireJason Campbell scored just seven points last week versus the Jets, but he had 38 points combined the two weeks prior to that.
Well, these days, everyone's goal should be to play against the Patriots; this team ranks second in the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, behind only the Green Bay Packers. No team permits more points to wide receivers. And don't worry, Darren McFadden owners, the NFL's rushing leader should do just fine against the seventh-easiest defense for running backs. No team has given up more receptions or receiving yards to running backs than, you guessed it, the Pats.