New England Patriots drop in ESPN NFL Power Rankings

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 2: Fans yell as the game winds down (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 2: Fans yell as the game winds down (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots are off to a slow start in 2017, and that has resulted in them dropping in ESPN’s Power Rankings.

To start the season, the New England Patriots were projected as the best team in the NFL. As the defending Super Bowl champions, the Patriots looked even better on paper heading into the season. So far, the results on the field have not shown that.

In the first game of the season, the Patriots lost at home to the Kansas City Chiefs. As the winners of the AFC West last season, losing to the Chiefs was certainly understandable, especially considering the Patriots lost both Dont’a Hightower and Danny Amendola in the game.

However, through four weeks, the Patriots find themselves with a mediocre 2-2 record. In ESPN’s most recent power rankings, the Patriots have fallen to the seventh spot. Here’s what ESPN had to say about the Patriots.

"It’s a great advantage having Tom Brady, but it’s not so great when your defense turns opponents into Tom Brady. The Patriots’ defense has allowed a higher completion percentage, more passing touchdowns and more yards per attempt than Brady has thrown this season."

Like ESPN said, the Patriots have benefited from a great start to the season from Tom Brady. With 10 touchdown passes and zero interceptions, the Patriots could easily be 1-3 if not for how well Brady is playing.

Unfortunately, the defense has looked dreadful so far this season. Despite that side of the ball having a lot of talented players on all three levels, the unit hasn’t been able to slow anyone down.

The Patriots will be heading into Week 5 on short rest against a talented Buccaneers team. As many expected, the Buccaneers look like they have taken a step forward this season.

Next: Winners and Losers from Week 4

With a talented offense, the Buccaneers are going to be putting a lot of pressure on a Patriots defense that doesn’t look like they have a clue right now. Even though it is only Week 5, the Patriots are certainly feeling the pressure of a slow start to the season. If they want to rise in the power rankings next week, a win against the Buccaneers would certainly help. Another loss could result in more panic in New England.