Week 17 Power Rankings ranks them 1st

Don Banks ranks them 1st:  Watching the NFL's 12-team playoff field come together and projecting the potential postseason matchups is a big part of the fun every year at this time. But I can't quite get over the feeling that the suspense might be short-lived this season. The Patriots just look driven. New England hasn't been just beating teams for almost two months now, it's been embarrassing them. At least most of them. During the course of the Pats' current seven-game winning streak, they've won by an average of almost three touchdowns (20.4) per game. And they're about to rack up their fourth regular season of at least 14 wins in the past eight years. Can you tell I think New England is looking rather Super once more?

NFL FanHouse ranks them 1stGolden Boy Brady and Company flattened yet another hapless foe on their way to the AFC's No. 1 seed and status as the overwhelming Super Bowl favorite. Their historically spectacular knack for holding onto the football is yet another hallmark of the NFL's most disciplined team.

WEEI ranks them 1stHome-field advantage is officially secured throughout the playoffs for the Patriots — giving them two weeks off from playing a meaningful game. The Pats will have the luxury of resting their starters Sunday if Bill Belichick chooses to do so. A well-rested, Belichick-coached, Brady-led Patriots team is a scary thing for any opponent that has to go into New England during the playoffs.

Pro Football Weekly ranks them 1stHave run more than 425 plays since their last turnover.

Cold Hard Football Facts ranks them 1st:  Among the 19 running backs with 200+ carries this year, BenJarvus Green-Ellis is third at avoiding runs for loss (94.3 percent positive), second in first downs per carry (28.7 percent) and second in touchdown runs (12).

Yahoo! Sports ranks them 1st:  After last year’s nightmarish injury to Wes Welker in the regular-season finale, should Bill Belichick be drug tested if he plays Tom Brady in Sunday’s meaningless finale against the Dolphins?

The Sporting News ranks them 1st:  Built much like last year's Saints, the Patriots have a versatile and prolific offense buoyed by a takeaway-minded defense. 

Pro Football Talk ranks them 1st:   It’s 2007 all over again, without the pressure of being undefeated and without a team from the NFC with a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.

Fox Sports ranks them 1st:  The Patriots bounced back from a narrow escape against the visiting Packers two weeks ago with a dominant performance against the improving Bills. Count me as one who didn't think they would be this good after trading veteran WR Randy Moss. Never discount the value of good coaching.

Peter King ranks them 1st:  Cinched homefield through the AFC playoffs by erasing Buffalo. I keep waiting for the running game to be shown as the Pats' weakness. It never will, at least not this year. By halftime yesterday, Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis had outgained Tom Brady, 138 rushing yards to 75 passing yards. Amazing combo platter of two undrafted free agents excelling for the best team in football.

ESPN ranks them 1stThe Patriots rank 27th on defense but lead the AFC roster in Pro Bowl defenders (four). Go figure.

USA Today ranks them 1st:  No snowstorm can derail this juggernaut.

CBS Sports ranks them 1stJust when you think the defense is ready to slide again, they play well against the Bills. They have to keep that up come playoff time.

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

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