Friday, November 5, 2021

New England Patriots Week 9 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: 13.0 (13th)
  • Best ranking: 9th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 15th (

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 13

Biggest Achilles' heel: Cornerback

After trading Stephon Gilmore and placing top slot Jonathan Jones on injured reserve, the Patriots are thin at cornerback. J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills are the starters -- with opponents often attacking Mills, as the Chargers did on their late TD on Sunday -- and practice-squad call-up Myles Bryant is the top slot option. Joejuan Williams and Shaun Wade are next on the CB depth chart. Chargers coach Brandon Staley made the point that the Patriots played more zone than man Sunday, in part because of their short-handed situation. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 15

On a day where Mac Jones struggled to get much going, the Patriots showed that their defense can carry them to wins against quality opponents. The 27-24 triumph over the Chargers was a textbook Classic Pats victory. Keep the game close, make an impact play, then grind out the final minutes with smart and efficient execution. The big moment was Adrian Phillips' pick-six with 10:11 to play, but the game was won on the 14-play, 54-yard drive that chewed up nearly half the fourth quarter and produced the game-icing field goal. Said Bill Belichick: "All in all, we made the plays that we needed to make in the fourth quarter, which is something we hadn't done as well early in the year."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 14

Winning on the road against the Chargers is an impressive victory. The defense came up big as Bill Belichick showed off his coaching acumen again.

USA Today -- Rank: 9

Admittedly, it's a weird résumé, though one that's significantly improved with a 54-point outburst and road win over the Bolts in past two weeks. New England is also this close to a 7-1 record ... though Pats should be 7-4 once Week 12 and a date with some old friends from Tennessee rolls around.

The Athletic -- Rank: 14

How's the head coach? As the Patriots creep back into (gasp) playoff consideration in a muddled AFC, it's time to appreciate what Bill Belichick is doing. The Patriots are improving each week -- especially rookie quarterback Mac Jones -- and Sunday's game against the Chargers was a reminder that there is no better defensive coach at creating a specific plan to wreck an opposing quarterback's day than Belichick. The Patriots picked off Justin Herbert twice, and held the Chargers to just 4-of-12 on third downs.

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