Wednesday, December 9, 2020

New England Patriots Week 14 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: 15.8 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 14th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 17th (

Below you will find a Week 14 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

Best-case scenario: The passing game shows signs of improvement, and they sneak into the playoffs. Per The Athletic's projections model, they have a 9 percent chance. Against the Chargers, Cam Newton threw for 69 yards, and the Patriots still scored 45 points. Newton's passing numbers have not been pretty, but would you believe that overall the Patriots' offense has been better than it was last year with Tom Brady? New England ranks 17th in EPA per snap this season; they were 20th last year.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

Bill Belichick's coaching showed up in a big way in the blowout victory over the Chargers. Now he faces another tough challenge against the Rams in the same stadium.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

Is WR Gunner Olszewski the heir apparent to Wes Welker and Julian Edelman? If Sunday was any indication, he's dangerous in the slot and returning punts, so ...

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Person with most at stake: QB Cam Newton

Playing on a modest one-year contract in a campaign he said was more about respect than money, Newton has a chance to shape his football future with a strong finish. The Patriots' passing game is one of the NFL's least productive, but Newton (11 rushing TDs) remains a threat with his legs, and the team's future QB plans (and whether Newton is part of them) have been a hot-button topic. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 17

The Patriots' offense with Cam Newton behind center isn't going to dazzle you. It consists mostly of interior runs, QB options and the occasional 7-yard lawn dart from Cam to one of his workmanlike receivers. But the New England attack doesn't need to be aesthetically pleasing when everything else is humming. On Sunday, Bill Belichick's defense flummoxed super rookie Justin Herbert, while New England special teams put on a clinic in a 45-0 shellacking of the Chargers. The Patriots have won four of five to put themselves back on the radar in the AFC playoff picture. Newton is having a strange year: He has just five passing touchdowns all season, but has 11 rushing scores, including six in the last six weeks. Whatever works.

Previous update: New England Patriots Week 13 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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