Saturday, December 4, 2021

New England Patriots Week 13 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: 4.6 (4th)
  • Best ranking: 4 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 5 (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 13 roundup for the Patriots in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 5

New England has won six straight games. Bill Belichick often says that no stat correlates more to winning than turnovers, so consider this: After Week 6, when the Patriots were 2-4, they were minus-3 in the turnover differential; now, they are plus-10 on the season -- the second best in the NFL. That's a good place to start when considering how the Patriots have turned their season around and why my confidence rating has gone up. -- Mike Reiss -- Rank: 5

The win streak has reached six games for the Patriots after a wipeout of the undermanned Titans. Mac Jones fared well in his first cold-weather outing at Foxborough, but it was the defense that once again played the starring role for New England. The Pats forced four turnovers, including an end-zone pick by cornerback J.C. Jackson, who also had a crucial forced fumble when the game remained in doubt. Said Bill Belichick after the win: "You leave any trash laying around, he's going to pick it up." The Pats have announced themselves as a player in the AFC, but a challenging three-game stretch that includes two matchups against the Bills will give us a greater understanding of where this team stands.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 4

It was Mac Jones, not the running game, that keyed the victory over the Titans. That's big going forward.

USA Today -- Rank: 4

Turnover machine J.C. Jackson leads the AFC in interceptions (7) and tops the NFL charts with 16 pass breakups. He also forced a fumble Sunday for good measure. Put him on the short list of defensive player of the year candidates -- right on time as the pending free agent awaits a blockbuster contract.

The Athletic -- Rank: 5

Problem area: Red-zone offense. The Patriots have scored a touchdown on 55.6 percent of their trips to the red zone. That's 24th in the NFL. Nick Folk attempted six field goals and made five of them against the Titans, and it wasn't the first time an inability to finish on offense has popped up. The Patriots are still rolling, though. They won by 20-plus points for the third straight game, they have outscored their opponents 63-0 in the second half of their last four games and now have the NFL's best point differential. The Patriots are a team with few weaknesses, with a real shot at the AFC's No. 1 seed.

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