Saturday, October 31, 2020

New England Patriots Week 8 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New England Patriots rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 19.2 (19th)
  • Best ranking: 18th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 21st (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 8 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 19

EPR had them lower than I did last week and still does. New England has scored a total of 18 points in the last two games. And the defense had no answers against the 49ers, allowing 467 yards and 26 first downs. The Patriots travel to Buffalo on Sunday. A loss would put them 3 1/2 games out of first place in the AFC East.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 20

It looks like it's going to be a long season. In fact, they face a major win-or-else game this week with Buffalo.

USA Today -- Rank: 21

Time to start chiseling dynastic gravestone? Worst home loss under Bill Belichick. First three-game losing streak in 286 games. Tom Brady thriving in Tampa. Buffalo now up three games in AFC East win column. Grim.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

Who needs to step up: QB Cam Newton

Would the real Cam Newton please stand up? Is it the QB who electrified New England in the first weeks of the season? Or the struggling QB who hasn't looked the same over his next three games? The contrast is striking. Fewer interceptions and better accuracy and decision-making are where the improvement starts. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 18

It's difficult to find positives for the Patriots as they attempt to regroup from the worst home loss of the Bill Belichick era. New England was blown out on Sunday because the defense made Niners reserve running back Jeff Wilson look like a young Gale Sayers, and Cam Newton remains completely lost at sea since his return from the COVID-19 list. Newton threw three interceptions and managed just 98 passing yards before being benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham early in the fourth quarter. After the game, Belichick said Newton will "absolutely" remain the starter, but that may speak more to the coach's lack of a better option than to a belief that Cam will turn it around. That this is all happening while Tom Brady thrives in Tampa serves as an extra twist of the knife.

Previous update: New England Patriots Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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