Sunday, January 3, 2021

New England Patriots Week 17 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: 20.8 (21st)
  • Best ranking: 18th (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 26th (

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

Cam Newton, QB: You could certainly make the case for guard Joe Thuney, but Newton is the more interesting choice. The Patriots' offense has been a mess, and Newton ranks 29th in QBR. He has not played well, but he's also been dealt one of the league's worst supporting casts, and Bill Belichick has raved about his intangibles. Will Newton land a starting job somewhere next season?

CBS Sports -- Rank: 18

The offense is awful right now. They should start Jarrett Stidham in the finale and get on with the planning for next season.

USA Today -- Rank: 19

Bill Belichick had never been swept by Buffalo. How times change ... and it might be time to throw a grenade into the New England roster.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

New Year's resolution: Dedicate more resources to WRs and TEs

For all the talk about quarterback play -- and that's a big issue, no doubt -- it won't matter who is throwing the football if the Patriots don't upgrade their personnel and overall philosophical approach in terms of acquiring/developing wide receivers and tight ends. Over the past two seasons in a post-Gronk world, no team in the NFL has received less from the tight ends in the passing game than New England. It's like a black hole in the offense. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 26

Monday night was depressing theater for Patriots fans who aren't used to this kind of thing. The Bills came into Foxborough and laid a 38-9 whipping on the home team, an embarrassing defeat that clinched New England's first losing season since 2000. It's also the first time in 20 years that an AFC East team swept the Pats in their home-and-home. The tables have most definitely turned, and now Bill Belichick is left to ponder what's next. That starts at the quarterback position. Cam Newton struggled yet again before being being replaced by Jarrett Stidham in the third quarter, and it would make sense for Stidham to start the Week 17 finale against the Jets. What used to be playoff time is now evaluation time.

Previous update: New England Patriots Week 16 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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