BOSTON (CBS) — Last week, after winning their sixth straight game, the Patriots climbed into the top five of just about every power rankings list in the world. In some cases, they made the top three.
Then, on an exceptionally windy Monday night in Buffalo, they went out and won their seventh straight game, this team beating the Bills to improve to 9-4 on the season.
The Patriots are now in first place in the division and first place in the conference, as the needle continues to point up for Bill Belichick’s team.
How does that translate to the power rankings? Let’s see.
Dan Hanzus moved the Patriots up one spot from the previous week, writing, “The man’s rare sideline smile told the story: This was the kind of night that keeps Bill Belichick in the game. … Tom Brady might be gone, but the Pats’ continued ability to win contests like this goes right back to the legend in the hoodie on the sideline.”
The Packers, Cardinals and Buccaneers rank ahead of the Patriots. The Chiefs (No. 5) moved down a spot behind the Patriots.
Likewise, the Patriots moved up one spot from fifth to fourth in ESPN’s power rankings. And likewise, it’s the Packers-Cardinals-Bucs trio ahead of them and the Chiefs behind them.
Bleacher Report: 3rd
The Patriots rank third on Bleacher Report but they’re not the top AFC team. That honor belongs to the Chiefs, who are at No. 2.
“Bill Belichick took all of one year to rebuild a team that lost the greatest quarterback of all time, and now he’s guiding a team with a rookie quarterback that could wind up facing Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl,” the write-up stated. “It’s settled — he’s a sorcerer.”
Sports Illustrated: 5th
SI has the expected three NFC teams ahead of the Patriots, but also has the Cowboys at No. 4.
“With Jones playing capably, the defense playing better and a bye week ahead, here comes New England, in fast pursuit of what would be an all-time Super Bowl match-up,” Greg Bishop wrote. “Do we even need to say who would play in that scenario? It’s not time to lock it in yet, but it sure seems like one of the more likely possibilities.”
CBS Sports: 4th
“Don’t look now, but they are the top seed in the AFC,” Pete Prisco wrote. “What a great coaching job this year by Bill Belichick.”
Yahoo Sports: 4th
The Patriots moved up one spot for beating the Bills. As is the case with many of the rankings, they’re behind three NFC teams and one spot ahead of the Chiefs.
The Ringer: 4th
The Patriots stayed put in The Ringer’s rankings as the top-ranked AFC team, one spot ahead of the Chiefs.
USA Today: 4th
There was no movement in the top five of USA Today’s rankings, with the Patriots staying put as the fourth-best team in the NFL and best team in the AFC.