This Patriots team can still be elite

New England has its holes, but who doesn't in the wide-open NFL this season?

Updated: October 11, 2010, 6:18 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

The New England Patriots were off Sunday, providing an opportunity for those who closely follow the team to widen their view.

First impressions?

There is a lot of bad, inconsistent football being played across the NFL, and while the Patriots surely have their imperfections, they would still be within bounds to ask the same question the Boston Red Sox asked in 2004: Why not us?

The Patriots (3-1) are not in the elite class that currently includes the Baltimore Ravens, ...

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