Week 16 Power Rankings

What If Sports ranks them 18th (+2)

Don Banks at SI ranks them 12th (-3):  It doesn't feel right that a team could go 11-5 in the NFL and miss the playoffs. But if form holds in the AFC East, that's what the Patriots are facing. Something tells me that form isn't going to hold. When does it ever, at least for long? ranks them 12th (nc):  That was an awe-inspiring performance by Matt Cassel.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

Yahoo! Sports ranks them 11th (nc):  Given the sad circumstances, how impressive was Matt Cassel's focus on Sunday? 

Fox Sports ranks them 11th (+2):  Bill Belichick can even teach how to master the weather apparently. One week after the Patriots were super sloppy in the rain in Foxborough against Pittsburgh, the Pats put up 35 points in the game's first 18 minutes at Oakland in a steady downpour.

ESPN ranks them 9th (+1):  The Patriots refuse to go away and could jockey into a division title.

Peter King at SI ranks them 9th (+2):  The Patriots scored 35 points in the first 18 minutes at Oakland, in a driving rainstorm. Football is a funny game.

USA Today ranks them 8th (+1):  They could finish with 11 wins and still miss playoffs.

ProFootball Weekly ranks them 8th (+4):  Matt Cassel passed yet another huge character test.

The Metro ranks them 8th (+1):  Someone asked me if Matt Cassel has a case for MVP, which I initially dismissed. I wouldn’t put him ahead of Peyton, but Cassel deserves a look.

The Sporting News ranks them 7th (+1):  There's still much pressure on Matt Cassel to lead a high-scoring offense to protect the defense from being overwhelmed by teams with great speed and athleticism. The AFC East title is out of the Patriots' control and probably out of their reach -- if the Dolphins and Jets both win their winnable games in Week 16. But the No. 6 seed is likely theirs if they can beat up on Arizona and Buffalo.

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

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