Patriots aren't panicking with losing record

896971.jpg

Patriots aren't panicking with losing record

FOXBORO -- The Patriots aren't used to this.

Three weeks into the regular season, New England enters Buffalo with a 1-2 record. And as everyone knows, this divisional game is never a walk in the park. Following that game, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos come to Gillette Stadium.

It was speculated before the season that the Patriots would have a favorable schedule. All of a sudden, it doesn't look so easy.

Still, the Pats aren't too concerned.

"We're pretty calm, we're calm," said Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch before Wednesday's practice. "I think the thing is, for us not to panic right now. I think that's the last thing that we want to do. Just practice a little bit more on our details and everything that we've been messing up on, get those things corrected, improve the things that we're doing pretty good, and I think we'll be ok.

"We're not panicking, but at the same time, we're not being relaxed, either, as if we've got everything under control. We've still got to go out and play ball."

That said, Sunday's game against the Bills is crucial for the Patriots to turn things around. And one would think that makes the role of New England's veterans that much more important in the weekly preparations leading up to the game.

But Branch said that's not necessarily the case. At least, vocally.

"I don't think we're doing a lot of talking," said Branch. "I think it's, more so now, the veteran guys showing by example. Just going out in the meeting rooms and on the practice field. There's not too much talking going on around here. It's all about just going out and handling our business."

Poll ranks Patriots as NFL's most 'badass' team

patriots_tom_brady_huddle_112716.jpg

Poll ranks Patriots as NFL's most 'badass' team

Five-time Super Bowl champions. Seven-time AFC champs. Fourteen-time AFC East champs. Now, Bill Belichick's Patriots have another title.

NFL's most "badass" team.

The Tampa Bay Times polled a panel of 43 NFL writers and asked them for the top three most "badass" teams and players in the NFL.

MORE PATRIOTS

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots came out on top with 29 top-three votes. 

Here's a sampling of the panelists' comments:

"They keep winning in a league designed to discourage dynasties." -Terez A. Paylor, Kansas City Star

"Hands down. They take a three-touchdown lead and keep throwing, and throwing, and don't give a damn what anybody thinks." -Tyler Dunne, Bleacher Report

"For a decade they've been toying with and laughing at the rest of the league. The biggest bullies on the block." — Ralph Vacchiano, SNY

"Behind the glitz and glamour of having the game's greatest quarterback, the Patriots ranked among the league's top 10 scoring defenses each of the past five seasons, including No. 1 in 2016." — Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette

The most badass player? Veteran Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The highest-ranked Patriot on the list? Tom Brady at No. 6. Rob Gronkowski was tied with Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack at No. 8. Julian Edelman was among the others receiving votes. 

Here are the full rankings: 

MOST BADASS TEAM 

1. Patriots (29 votes)

2. Seahawks (27)

3. Steelers (18)

4. Raiders (9)

5. Ravens (8)

6t. Broncos (6)

6t. Cowboys (6)

8. Bengals (4)

9t. Cardinals (2)

9t. Packers (2)

9t. Panthers (2)

9t. Texans (2)

Also receiving votes: Chiefs, Falcons, Rams, Titans (1 each)

MOST BADASS PLAYER

1. James Harrison, Steelers LB (14 votes)

2t. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders RB (10)

2t. J.J. Watt, Texans DE (10)

4t. Kam Chancellor, Seahawks S (8)

4t. Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins DT (8)

6. Tom Brady, Patriots QB (7)

7. Von Miller, Broncos LB (6)

8t. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE (5)

8t. Khalil Mack, Raiders LB (5)

10. Aaron Donald, Rams DT (4)