Numerous sites that cover the NFL release their weekly power rankings every week. Typically, these rankings are taken with a grain of salt from fans, but, for once, this ranking of the Patriots is spot on from NBC's Pro Football Talk. PFT has the Patriots ranked dead last, 32 out of 32.
Yes, this ranking is correct despite the Carolina Panthers being 0-5 to start the season. Unlike the Panthers, the Patriots haven't reached the endzone since the second quarter of their week three matchup against the New York Jets. That's five halves with no touchdowns or ten quarters. Yes, it's been that long since the Patriots scored a touchdown.
It's easy to blame the offense, as there really hasn't been any offensive production this season. Since week one, the offense has been regressing, and now the offense has hit rock bottom. Mac Jones can't seem to do anything right, the offensive line can't block, the run game is nonexistent, and the wide receivers outside Demario Douglas have gone missing.
But it's not just the offense. It's also coaching.
In the last two games specifically, the Patriots have not looked prepared. That falls on Bill Belichick. The poor coaching decisions in the game also fall on Belichick.
From not challenging a pass that was ruled incomplete when, in reality, it was an interception by Kyle Dugger, to punting the ball on fourth and short when being down by one or two scores halfway or even later in games. This all falls on Bill Belichick.
However, it's not just Belichick as the coach. It's also Bill Belichick as the general manager.
The Patriots have arguably the worst roster in the NFL. Who's in charge of building the Patriots roster? Bill Belichick. In the end, all roads lead back to Belichick. The longer he's with the team, the more the Patriots will continue to see ranking like this. But what about the other sides of the ball?
The defense took a massive hit in losing Christian Gonzalez and Matthew Judon. But players like Johnathan Jones, Christian Barmore, Keion White, and Ja'Whaun Bentley will continue to make plays.
Plus, there's J.C. Jackson, who was just recently acquired from the Los Angeles Chargers. It's an adjustment period for now, but the defense has a chance to get back on track against the Las Vegas Raiders this weekend.
As for the special teams, it's been rough for rookie kicker Chad Ryland. Maybe Belichick shouldn't have used a fourth-round pick on a kicker. Perhaps he should have kept Nick Folk around for one or two more years. But so far, it looks like Bill Belichick is at the root of the problem again.
So what will it take for the Patriots to leap-frog themselves out of 32nd in these power rankings?
For one, score a touchdown. Have some productivity on the offensive side of the ball. Next, in general, be competitive. The Patriots showed no fight in their games against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. Last, be well-coached and be prepared.
The Patriots have looked lost on the field. If they don't want to be considered the worst team in the NFL, they need to look like a functional team. But for now, they are the worst team in the NFL.