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Patriots just 19th in end-of-season power rankings

New England is coming off a disappointing season.

Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images

The New England Patriots’ 2022 season was a disappointment. Despite the team fielding one of the NFL’s best defenses its lack of an offensive identity and special teams blunders cost them. The team finished the season 8-9 and with outside the playoffs for a second time in the last three years.

As a result of those struggles, it is no surprise to see the team check in only at No. 19 in a recent end-of-season power ranking released by NBC Sports’ Patrick Daugherty.

19. New England Patriots

It’s not even that the Patriots made a defensive-minded coach offensive coordinator, unforgivable as that was. It’s that they made an actively bad defensive-minded coach offensive coordinator. Matt Patricia is the same “defensive mind” who couldn’t get a Nick Foles-led offense off the field in the Super Bowl. The same coach who had the worst defense in the league in Detroit. How why cómo por qué was this the decision Bill Belichick made? The brutally predictable result was Mac Jones regressing on his modest rookie campaign and the Pats never developing an offensive identity. The less predictable outcome was Jones growing frustrated to the point that he spent most of his late-season appearances screaming at the coaching staff and going so far as to seek outside help to spark the offense. Those kinds of visible affronts would have been unthinkable under Belichick even 2-3 years ago. Beyond being literal cries for help from his most important player, they symbolize how fast life can come at even the best coach in the league when he loses the greatest player in NFL history. Thankfully for Belichick, he can still coordinate a defense. He can also admit when he’s wrong. Patricia is out, Bill O’Brien is in. Only time will tell if it is too little, too late as the GOAT years recede ever-further into the rear-view mirror.

The Patriots have plenty of work to do to get back into the playoffs. Luckily, they will be among the league leaders in offseason resources both financially and from a draft-pick perspective.