Thursday, November 25, 2021

New England Patriots Week 12 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: 7 (7th)
  • Best ranking: 6 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 9 (ESPN)

Below you will find a Week 12 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 9

Most memorable Thanksgiving game: Scoring on the "Butt Fumble" in a 49-19 rout of the Jets on Nov. 22, 2012

The Butt Fumble. Does any more need to be said? A dominant performance at the Meadowlands was highlighted by a single play -- Jets QB Mark Sanchez losing the football after running into the butt of his own offensive lineman who had been thrust back and the Patriots scoring on the recovery -- that remains famous to this day. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 6

Mac Jones has been an upgrade over Cam Newton, but the 2021 Patriots' biggest difference is a defense that has surged during the team's five-game winning streak. In that stretch, New England has given up just 10 points per game, with 12 interceptions against just four touchdown passes. The 2021 version of Matt Ryan was a sitting duck against New England's relentless pass rush, which turned Atlanta's offensive linemen into sentient turnstiles on the way to four sacks and 12 QB hits. Matt Judon stands tall as the leader of this group: The ace free-agent signing is up to 10.5 sacks in what's been an All-Pro worthy season. The Pats matched their 2020 win total by Thanksgiving and have found themselves in first place as a result.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 7

They've moved to the top of the AFC East with their five-game winning streak. Now comes a tough one with the Titans.

USA Today -- Rank: 6

You can question how many quality wins they have, but when you're beating NFL competition by an aggregate 94-13 score over a three-week period, that speaks volumes. Their next four games are against Tennessee, Buffalo (twice) and Indianapolis, a stretch that should put New England into clearer perspective.

The Athletic -- Rank: 7

Best side dish: Matt Judon might be the best free-agent signing of 2021. He has 10 1/2 sacks and has fueled the Patriots' defense during this impressive five-game winning streak. The Patriots haven't played a close game since Halloween, when they beat the Chargers 27-24, and Judon and the defense have allowed just one touchdown in the past three games. It's the perfect formula for success with a rookie quarterback.

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