Patriots Nearing Top 5 in Week 17 MMQB Power Rankings

After descending over the past several weeks, the Patriots have begun ascending the power rankings this week.
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A 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 16 not only has the New England Patriots back to their winning ways, but it also has them climbing back up the MMQB power rankings leading into their regular season finale. 

The Patriots are listed as no. 6 in this week's MMQB power rankings, which is two spots higher than they were last week (8). They have leap-frogged the Vikings (7) and moved past the Seattle Seahawks (8) who slid down three spots this week. New England now sits right behind the Packers (5) who moved up one spot from last week. 

Here is what the MMQB staff had to say about the Patriots in this week's rankings:

"The best offensive outing of the season for the Patriots came at the perfect time against a playoff-caliber defense as New England locked up their 17th AFC East title this century. Tom Brady cut down the incompletions on a 26-of-33, 271-yard, one-TD outing that saw him find five receivers for at least 24 yards apiece. Sony Michel (96 yards on 21 carries) bounced back, but Rex Burkhead chipped in 97 all-purpose yards of his own and a touchdown."

Finding as much offensive production as the Patriots did against one of the NFL's top defenses last week was very impressive. The run game and pass game were there thanks to some creativity that got all of their offensive weapons involved in some shape or form. 

Heading into their final regular season game against the lowly-Dolphins, New England needs a win this week in order to clinch a first-round playoff bye. Despite their opponent being one of the worst teams in the league, the reigning Super Bowl champions are treating their Week 17 like a playoff game. Rightfully so, as their entire season could come down to whether or not they begin the postseason with a week of rest.