Following their week 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, SB Nation moved the Patriots from the number one spot back all the way back to fourth. The Patriots bounced back with a win over the Chargers on Sunday, and now they are back up to number two:
The Patriots bounced back this week with a big win on the road in San Diego, moving up two spots to No. 2. New England has won eight of their last nine games. The Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski-led offense is humming along like a well-oiled machine, and importantly, the defense is coming on as well. The Pats held Philip Rivers and the Chargers' offense to 216 net yards, and if the Patriots can continue to get these types of shutdown performances from their defense down the stretch, they'll be near impossible to beat. Brandon Browner's jarring hit on Ladarius Green, despite the fact it got called back, could be the type of galvanizing play that raises the intensity of everyone in the group over the next three games. This type of physical play is exactly the reason that Bill Belichick took a chance on the free agent -- his presence sets a tone.
This ranking seems about right to me, although I never would have had the Eagles ahead of New England. The Packers had another dominating offensive performance last night against the Falcons. They’re the team to beat right now.