Saturday, January 1, 2022

New England Patriots Week 17 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 9 (9th)
  • Best ranking: 8 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 10 (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 9

Non-QB MVP: LB Matthew Judon

Coming off arguably his most disappointing performance of the season in a 33-21 loss to the Bills when he didn't consistently generate a pass rush, Judon still gets the nod for his overall body of work (12.5 sacks). Up to Week 16, he had been the team's most disruptive defender, along with CB J.C. Jackson. Kicker Nick Folk (34-of-37 on FGs) is in the discussion as well. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 8

In the end, maybe the difference between the top two teams in the AFC East is that one has Josh Allen and the other doesn't. The Patriots couldn't contain the Bills' superstar quarterback, who repeatedly drove down the field on the NFL's top-ranked defense in a costly 33-21 loss at Foxborough. Mac Jones has developed nicely in his rookie season, but the Pats don't have an answer to Allen -- on defense or at the quarterback position. Back-to-back losses to the Colts and Bills make you wonder if New England is simply a step behind the true Super Bowl contenders in the AFC.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 10

They have gone from the top seed to a wild card team in two weeks. There has to be concern about their passing game.

USA Today -- Rank: 8

OLB Matt Judon landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and QB Mac Jones has been on the reserve/rookie jitters list all month. New England, which hosts Jacksonville next, is still likely to limp into postseason, but team has bled off significant momentum.

The Athletic -- Rank: 10

Is he The Guy? Yes. Do you see a pattern here? All these top teams have their quarterback secured for the near future, and the Patriots longer than any of them. The Brady comparisons are a bit much, but rookie Mac Jones has shown poise and accuracy. It's only a matter of time before Kyle Shanahan says yeah, that was the guy he wanted all along.

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