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Week 10 Patriots Power Rankings: Pats’ problems are real, but it’s not all bad

Here’s what the experts are saying about the Patriots heading into Week 10.

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Washington Commanders (20) Vs. New England Patriots (17) At Gillette Stadium
It’s not all bad...
Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Pats are 2-7 heading into Week 10 for what used to be a marquis matchup in the NFL. Patriots vs. Colts. Hard to believe but the last time this rivalry really meant something was in 2010, when Tom Brady and Peyton Manning ruled the league. These matchups were scheduled during network ratings sweeps week in prime time, as the must-see game of the season.

Sunday’s matchup will be nothing like that. Currently, both teams are shells of their former selves. This will be the second of the league’s two international games played in Frankfurt Stadium in Germany. As owner of the hosting team, Robert Kraft will be expecting a good show from his club and I’m sure that’s been communicated all the way down the line.

The Patriots problems are real. There is no quick-fix solution for 2023 or perhaps longer. But I’m still hoping the team can rally for a win Sunday morning. The Pats-Colts rivalry may be dead, but the memories remain.

GO PATS!!

Around the AFC East:

New England Patriots (2-7) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

Miami Dolphins (6-3) - Bye week

Buffalo Bills (5-4) vs. Denver Broncos (3-5)

New York Jets (4-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (4-5)

AFC Matchups:

Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) - Bye week

Baltimore Ravens (7-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (5-3)

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2) vs. San Francisco 49ers (5-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) vs. Green Bay Packers (3-5)

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) vs. Houston Texans (4-4)

Los Angeles Chargers (4-4) vs. Detroit Lions (6-2)

Tennessee Titans (3-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

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27th - Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): This is going to be a long season and one that will question the future of Bill Belichick in New England. He should stay as long as he wants, but you never know. [nc]

28th - NFL Nation (ESPN): Non-QB MVP: C David Andrews. Andrews hasn’t missed a snap and has been the one constant for an offensive line that has used seven different configurations in nine games. He’s also usually the first player at the postgame interview podium — usually in his game uniform — answering challenging questions after losses. — Mike Reiss. [nc]

28th - Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): The Patriots showed signs of more offensive life with the running game dominating and a new mix of needed receivers making some plays. Unfortunately, their work and the grinding defense weren’t enough with Mac Jones making one too many mistakes again. [nc]

28th - Sheil Kapadia (The Ringer): Matt Patricia’s Patriots offense averaged 18.2 points per game. Bill O’Brien’s Patriots offense is averaging 14.8 points per game. Mac Jones has not played well, but their loss Sunday against Washington was another reminder that his supporting cast is awful. And the defense gave up 432 yards to a Sam Howell-led offense. No need to sugercoat it. This is flat-out one of the worst teams in the NFL. [-1]

28th - Karen Guregian (MassLive): Has Robert Kraft seen enough? Will Bill Belichick last the season? Stay tuned after their trip to Germany. [-1]

28th - Ryan Dunleavy (NY Post). [-1]

29th - Conor Orr (SI): There is such a University of Iowa offense energy to watching Mac Jones drop back and fire the ball at the backside of an opposing defender then angrily raise his arms looking for a pass interference call, as if this is the only remaining way in which the Patriots can move the football. The Patriots are getting run over and out-efforted, which is decidedly un-Belichickian. Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson simply wanted some of those big third-quarter catches a little more. [nc]

29th - Eric Edholm (NFL.com): Bill Belichick having to answer near-weekly questions about his job status will never not be weird for me. The Patriots’ ship sailed so straightly for so long, the fact that it’s been adrift for a few years now has just been so strange. There’s little mystery to New England’s troubles, with quarterback Mac Jones being a talent-dependent game manager on a mostly talent-bereft team. The weaknesses are not just at the skill positions, but that’s part of it. And thanks to the Patriots’ gross rash of injuries on defense, that group is a very un-Belichickian shell of itself. The whole thing feels unstable and untenable. Even with the news last month of Belichick’s offseason extension, nothing about his future in New England feels certain. That probably applies to Jones, too. [-1]

29th - Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports): Losing to a bad Commanders team that just traded two of its best players is another low point for the Patriots. The Krafts are grumbling in the owner’s box. The Patriots are at the bottom of the AFC. And the real question is: How did this team beat the Bills? [-2]

29th - Consensus (Bleacher Report): The hits just keep coming in New England—indignity piled upon indignity upon indignity. After falling at home to a mediocre Washington Commanders team Sunday, the Pats have one win in their last six games. The fact that the win came against the Buffalo Bills is a testament to just how weird the NFL is. Simply put, nothing is going right for the Pats. The defense allowed 432 yards of offense to a Commanders team no one is going to confuse with “The Greatest Show on Turf.” Offensively, quarterback Mac Jones continues to struggle, throwing a back-breaking interception late that killed the Patriots’ comeback chances. ...

Given what we’ve seen over the first half of the 2023 season, the only thing the Patriots are close to is being the worst team in the AFC. [-1]

29th - Dalton Miller (ProFootballNetwork): Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense needed more against a lifeless Commanders’ defense that just traded away their two best defensive players. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough speed or talent on that side of the ball for sustainable positive movement. Jones threw an interception to end the game, but the ball was perfectly placed against tight coverage and should have been caught. If it had been, the Patriots would have had a chance to kick a game-tying field goal. In the end, the lack of offensive firepower and the laundry list of injuries on the defensive side of the ball have made their situation untenable. [nc]

29th - Nate Davis (USA Today): Hopefully the good people of Germany are not expecting Manning vs. Brady in Sunday’s Colts-Pats game in Frankfurt. [-2]

29th - Staff (The Score): Mac Jones leading a game-winning drive versus the Bills. The second of New England’s two wins came in dramatic fashion. Jones drove the offense 75 yards down the field in 1:46 and hit Mike Gesicki for the game-winning touchdown with just 12 seconds remaining. [-3]

29th - Matt Johnson (SportsNaut): Believe it or not, there’s a positive to take away from the 2023 New England Patriots season. Mac Jones has left no doubt that he is not the long-term answer and the Patriots don’t even have to think about that fifth-year option. Another positive, Week 9 showcased that Rhamondre Stevenson can be a building block for this offense once they find a solid quarterback and build an offensive line. [-2]

29th - Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago): Mac Jones has been far from perfect this season, but the Patriots’ offense does little to help out the young quarterback. Jones sounds like he is losing faith in New England’s offense, and I can’t blame him. [-1]

29th - Jarrett Bailey (TouchdownWire): Bill Belichick is going to mess around and get one of these quarterbacks in the draft or Kirk Cousins, isn’t he? [nc]

31st - Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk): Which way to the Patriot Way? [nc]

AVG RANK: 28.7 (-1.0)