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Patriots Power Rankings: New England seen as a below-average team after Week 1

Related: Instant analysis from Patriots’ 20-7 loss to Dolphins

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NFL: SEP 11 Patriots at Dolphins
Ty Montgomery
Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Week 1 in the NFL. Welcome back to the first New England Patriots power rankings roundup of the 2022 season.

A good host enjoys serving guests they haven’t seen in a while with a tasty selection of hot appetizers, dinner and sweet treats for dessert. Today is not that day for Pats fans. Wish I could have whipped up something more delectable for you all but the write-ups below, while not all bad, require a certain palate that we’re still not used to around here.

If the chunks of opinion seem too pointed to digest, I suggest avoiding the later offerings and sticking to the top half of the menu. A few reasonable writers suggest restraint before burying the “lifeless” Patriots” (cough, The Score, cough). They’re right, even if they were being deferential. Any declarations of permanent doom should be consumed with caution, as indigestion could ensue. Here’s hoping when we meet again we can upscale a bit.

The Pats head to Pittsburgh for Week Two. The Steelers are 1-0 after beating a Bengals team that played awful yet still had a chance to win at the end. Are the Steelers that good or are the Bengals that bad? Just like with the Patriots, time will tell. It’s always important to get a win, but especially with another AFC matchup on the line. The oddsmakers have made New England an early 1-point favorite on the road. I pick the Pats to return home 1-1.


Around the AFC East:

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Buffalo Bills (1-0) vs. Tennessee Titans (0-1)

New England Patriots (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

New York Jets (0-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-0)

AFC Matchups:

Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

Houston Texans (0-0-1) at Denver Broncos (0-1)

Indianapolis Colts (0-0-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

Las Vegas Raiders (0-1) vs Arizona Cardinals (0-1)


13th - Mark Lane (TouchdownWire): They got manhandled by the Miami Dolphins. Mac Jones didn’t look spectacular as he went 21-of-30 for 213 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and took two sacks. They were 4-9 on third downs and lost both of their fumbles in the game. New England may not be dominant now, but they can catch a streak.

17th - Nate Davis (USA Today): Week 1 without recently departed offensive mastermind Josh McDaniels didn’t exactly go to plan, but give New England a little time to settle in.

18th - Conor Orr (SI): We’re nowhere near the point where we can declare anything a success or a failure. For years, New England has used the beginning portions of the season to feel out the themes of the year before building a matchup nightmare for their opponents. Tom Brady is gone, but the strategy is still plausible in a pared-down way.

19th - Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports): All of the concerns about the Patriots offense in the preseason carried over to the regular-season opener. Mac Jones is injured now too. Giving up on the Patriots seems foolish. But there’s a lot that needs to be fixed.

20th - Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk): The “yeah, but Bill Belichick is the coach” routine may not work for very long.

21st - NFL Nation (ESPN): Rookie who stood out: CB Jack Jones. The fourth-round pick from Arizona State played just 11 snaps, but he lands here because of a great lesson he learned from one of them. In coverage against one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL, Tyreek Hill, he was in great position to come down with a 50-50 ball for an interception ... but didn’t make the play. Jones has flashed potential to be a sticky cover man, but if he wants to become a finisher, making those type of plays will be an important step.

21st - Consensus (Bleacher Report): The New England offense struggled moving the ball in training camp and the preseason, and those struggles were again evident Sunday. The Patriots gained only 271 yards of total offense, managed only 17 first downs and went just 4-of-10 on third down. Add in three Patriots turnovers, and you have the makings of a lopsided loss.

Given the apparent state of the New England offense, this team will have little margin for error in 2022. Mac Jones can’t tun the ball over. The defense can’t give up big plays. ... More.

21st - Austin Gayle (The Ringer): The Patriots’ Week 1 performance did nothing to calm preseason fears surrounding first-year offensive play caller Matt Patricia and the offense. The team’s stable of running backs averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, and quarterback Mac Jones (who may have suffered a back injury) was responsible for two turnovers in the loss to Miami. A lot needs to change in a hurry for Patricia and Jones to put together a winning season in New England.

21st - Dalton Miller (ProFootballNetwork): Bill Belichick is the greatest head coach in NFL history. It’s not easy to bury his team, but this Patriots roster and coaching staff could finally be too much for “The Hoodie” to overcome. Jakobi Meyers and Jonnu Smith helped Mac Jones out today. Still, the rest of the offensive weapons failed to impress against a Dolphins secondary that lacked Byron Jones and fielded multiple banged-up defensive backs.

Then, there was the defense. Kyle Dugger is the definition of a playmaker. Adrian Phillips and veteran Devin McCourty make for an awesome duo. But they can’t play the two outside cornerback spots. And nobody could match up with Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle today.

22nd - Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): They have big problems on offense. Mac Jones has to pick up his play or this is going to be a long season.

23rd - Dan Hanzus ( After a summer of bad buzz surrounding the offense, the Patriots went out on Sunday and delivered a tepid performance that justified all the panic in New England. The Pats’ attack had moments when it was able to move the ball — primarily on the ground — but after four quarters, the team had managed a single scoring drive in a 20-7 loss to the Dolphins. To make matters worse, Mac Jones missed his postgame media obligation so he could undergo X-rays on his back. Jones appears to have dodged serious injury, but the scare serves as a reminder that any hope of success this season will hinge on the team’s ability to keep the young quarterback upright. The Pats have work to do.

23rd - Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): The Patriots’ offensive play-calling dysfunction showed in breaking down around Mac Jones with nothing daunting in either the running or passing game in Miami. They also didn’t have the pass defense to which they were accustomed. Winning battles of attrition won’t work for Bill Belichick anymore.

24th - Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago): I don’t know why Bill Belichick was so optimistic after the Patriots’ Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. Things are bad, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to fix what ails the offense.

26th - Ryan Dunleavy (NY Post).

26th - Matt Johnson (SportsNaut): We were concerned about the New England Patriots entering the season and they did nothing to change that in Week 1. There are problems at cornerback and the offense seems to lack everything needed to be anything but average on its best days. Looking at the schedule ahead, things could get even worse for Bill Belichick.

27th - Bryan Fischer (Athlon Sports): The Pats are used to starting the year slow and playing mediocre down in Miami but after the kind of offseason there’s been around the team… perhaps the panic amid the fan base is actually warranted. It certainly is on offense regardless of Mac Jones’ status going forward with that back injury.

28th - Staff (The Score): The Patriots will have to do a lot of soul-searching - especially on offense - after a lifeless loss to the Dolphins. Three turnovers and seven points was a rough debut for play-caller Matt Patricia. It could be an unusual season in New England unless its offense gets into rhythm.

30th - Ryan Gaydos (Fox News).

AVG RANK: 22.2