NFL Power Rankings: Patriots Continue to Show Well


The most recent NFL Power Rankings are out, and the 12-2 New England Patriots continue to show well.

After a relatively easy 33-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15, the New England Patriots now sit at 12-2, comfortably atop the AFC standings. The Patriots have already clinched a first round bye in the post season, and currently sit in the driver’s seat for home field advantage in the AFC.

Simply put, if they win their last two games, the AFC champion will have to come through Foxborough. Despite all of their issues with injuries, the Patriots are sitting in a good position, and it shows on the latest batch of NFL Power Rankings. How do the Pats stand compared to the rest of the league this week? Staff, Patriots’ Ranking: 2nd

"While everyone is hyped about how exciting the young Carolina Panthers are, they’re on a collision course with old veterans of playoff success — the New England Patriots. Tom Brady and company are looking like they’ll get back to the Super Bowl this year based on the way they’ve been playing, despite the injuries they’ve suffered. Despite losing Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski at one time or another this season, the Patriots have managed to hang at the top of the AFC and hold onto the No. 1 seed with relative ease. They needed some luck, but things have a way of bouncing in Bill Belichick’s favor, which is once again the case in the postseason chase.That being said, the Patriots do have work to do before they’re considered the hands down favorites to win the Super Bowl. They’re playing against backup QBs in the AFC picture, and the competition below that isn’t very fierce. New England is probably the best team in the AFC but they might be by default at this point. You don’t need much to motivate the Patriots to try and burn the rest of the league down, and they’re well on their way to proving everyone wrong once again."

Elliot Harrison of, Patriots’ Ranking: 3rd

"Relatively easy win for the Patriots, who are guaranteed of being at least the AFC’s No. 2 seed. Now that Rob Gronkowski is back, New England might be as tough an out as the Panthers. Give it to James White, too — he’s come out of nowhere to make plays all over the field, like he’s trying to prove ex-Wisconsin running backs can succeed in the NFL, Ron Dayne and Montee Ball ( and Melvin Gordon?) aside. Of course, the knock on former Badger ball carriers has been about running the football, not catching it. White notched seven receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown Sunday. Not bad for a guy taken toward the end of the fourth round."

Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports, Patriots’ Ranking: 2nd

"Do you need a running game to win a Super Bowl? Joey Iosefa, added from the practice squad, and Brandon Bolden had 87 yards on 24 carries, a 3.6-yard average, on Sunday. Maybe Steven Jackson is one of those brilliant signings nobody but the Patriots sees coming. But it sure seems like their championship hopes are entirely on the passing game — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you have Tom Brady."

Mark Maske of The Washington Post, Patriots’ Ranking: 3rd

"The signing of Steven Jackson is intriguing. He is 32, ancient for a RB, and he looked pretty much done while averaging 3.7 yards per carry last season for the Falcons. But he’s had time to rest while going unsigned this season until now. And isn’t this just the kind of move that feels like it will pay postseason dividends for the Patriots?"

Justin Roger of, Patriots Ranking: 3rd

"Bucking parity, the Patriots have won at least 12 games the past six seasons."

Obviously, the undefeated Carolina Panthers dominate the NFL Power Rankings, and for good reason. Cam Newton has that team flying high. Then, some combination of the Patriots and Arizona Cardinals come in at second and third. Seems perfectly fair, the Patriots are great, but so are the Cardinals. However, losing safety Tyrann Mathieu for the rest of the season is certainly going to hurt them going forward.

Next: Patriots Must Get James White More Involved

It seems like these three teams are in a class of their own. Sure, the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers or a couple of other teams might make some noise, but as of right now I think it is fair to suggest that the Super Bowl champion is going to be one of those top three teams.