Week 12 Power Rankings

What If Sports ranks them 20th (-3)

Yahoo! Sports ranks them 13th (+2):  If someone had told you in August that the Pats would open as one-point favorites over the Dolphins in a mid-November revenge game, would you have fitted him/her for a straightjacket before or after delivering the Thorazine shot? ranks 12th (nc):  Can the banged-up Pats avoid wilting in the South Florida heat?

ESPN ranks them 10th (-3):  Like the black knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the Patriots keep losing appendages but they fight onward. "It's just a flesh wound!"

Fox Sports ranks them 10th (-3):  This week Matt Cassel gets a chance to avenge Dolphins LB Joey Porter, who publicly disparaged Cassel with mid-week smack before Miami's shocking Week 3 upset win over the Pats. Lately, Tom Brady's young apprentice has been, well, Brady-esque.

The Sporting News ranks them 10th (-4):  The Patriots' pass protection woes from the Super Bowl have carried over a bit, as they've allowed 33 sacks, or as many as the Raiders. On the bright side, to take pressure off Matt Cassel, Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neal and Nick Kaczur have risen as power run blockers.

Metro Boston ranks them 9th (-5):  Not since Drew Bledsoe and Dan Marino were kicking around did a Patriots-Dolphins game mean so much. The Pats can thank their defense for that.

ProFootball Weekly ranks them 9th (-2): Matt Cassel: future millionaire.

USA Today ranks them 9th (-3):  QB-hungry teams could be looking at free-agent-to-be Matt Cassel.

Dr. Z at SI ranks them 8th (-2):  What I liked about their Thursday nighter against the Jets was that nothing was decided by some fluke thing or other. Everything was hard fought, dearly won, the way contests at this level should be. Next trip? Who knows?

Peter King at SI ranks them 7th (-2):  Some clarity on the Matt Cassel free-agency situation: The Patriots have until Feb. 19 to determine whether to place the franchise tag on Cassel, whose contract expires after the season. That gives them three months from today to decide.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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