The New England Patriots dropped in ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings for the second consecutive week despite being in the middle of a five-game winning streak.
The New England Patriots continued their dominance over the AFC East in Week 8. The Patriots picked up their fifth straight victory, defeating the Buffalo Bills 25-6.
While the scoreboard showed a blowout, this was far from a great performance for New England. The Patriots led by only six points heading into the fourth quarter, as the Buffalo defense held them to four field goals through three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, midnight struck on the Bills. The Patriots would score two touchdowns, as Tom Brady led the team on an 85-yard drive to take a 12 point lead. A few minutes later, Devin McCourty intercepted Derek Anderson and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.
Buffalo did well containing the Patriots offense but were eventually worn down in the fourth quarter. A victory for the Patriots seemed like a foregone conclusion, but they had to work for it a little harder than many people believed they would.
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Brady still threw for 324 yards with Julian Edelman and James White dominating underneath. The defense, albeit against a historically poor offense, did what they were expected to do. They shut down LeSean McCoy on the ground, registered three sacks and forced one turnover.
It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. At the end of the day, that is all Bill Belichick and company cares about. Despite the win, the Patriots still dropped in ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings.
This is the second straight week that New England has dropped in the rankings. Last week, after defeating the Chicago Bears, the Patriots fell out of the top two, dropping to No. 3. This week, they dropped once again, this time to No. 4.
The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs both remained No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The new team in the No. 3 spot is the New Orleans Saints, who picked up an impressive road victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8.
Given their performance against the Bills, dropping the Patriots one spot this week is acceptable. The Saints have a better record and picked up a more impressive road victory than New England did.
Rounding out the top-five is the Los Angeles Chargers, who were on their bye this week after defeating the Tennessee Titans in London in Week 7.