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Patriots Power Rankings Roundup Heading Into Week Seven

The New England Patriots have dropped to 2-4 on the 2021 season. However, may a strong showing against the Dallas Cowboys have actually sparked a Pats’ rise in the national rankings?

As the New England Patriots attempt to build on their Week Six loss to the Dallas Cowboys, a great deal of self-evaluation will be made as the team prepares for this Sunday’s matchup with the New York Jets on Sunday. While head coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff do not place great value on assessments from outside sources, weekly NFL Power Rankings may provide a glimpse into the Pats place in the League’s grand scheme.

Heading into Week Seven of the 2021 NFL Season, the Pats are in need of improvement in all three phases of the game.

Using seven prominent national outlets for our power rankings roundup — Sports Illustrated,, ESPN, CBS Sports, Pro Football Network, Sporting News and USA Today — the Patriots ranged from 18th to 24th in the league.

Here's a roundup of the 2021 power rankings heading into Week Seven (including the comments from each outlet), along with Patriot Maven’s analysis.

Sports Illustrated

Rank: #21 (previous week : #21)

“The defense is there, the offense is not, and the Patriots have now let two games slip out of their grasp in Foxboro. The season-opening loss to a truly atrocious Dolphins team will surely stick in their craw, but Sunday’s loss to Dallas was even more frustrating, as they were set up to beat a superior opponent through situational football and timely playmaking before a wild final three minutes unfolded.” -Gary Gramling


Rank: #21 (previous week: #19)

(ESPN’s Rankings by: NFL Nation, ESPN)

“Mac Jones' strong start had things looking up even in a season-opening loss. And then the up-and-down play from defense and special teams -- along with the offensive line and several skill-position players -- led to things plummeting, as the Patriots have been learning how not to beat themselves with mistakes. Such volatility also has been reflected on the sideline with some debatable coaching decisions.”--Commentary by Mike Reiss

CBS Sports

Rank: #24 (previous week: #21)

“They fought hard against the Cowboys, but the reality is they didn't slow them down much on defense. They're off to an 0-4 start at home this season.” -Pete Prisco

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Rank: #21 (previous week: #22)

“The Patriots gave the Cowboys all they could handle, but it still wasn't enough to keep New England from suffering its fourth consecutive loss at Gillette Stadium. Mac Jones (again impressive) put the Pats in position for a dramatic win with a 75-yard touchdown strike to Kendrick Bourne late in the fourth quarter, but the defense surrendered a game-tying field goal with 20 seconds to play in regulation, then allowed CeeDee Lamb to get behind the secondary on the game-ending 35-yard touchdown in overtime. "We went toe-to-toe with them for 60 minutes," Bill Belichick said. "They just made a few more plays than we did." This is an organization not accustomed to moral victories.” -Dan Hanzus

Pro Football Network

Rank: #18 (previous week: #23)

“This offense has to be dominant in the run game to move the ball, and the quarterback isn’t going to go out and win games with his arm. Even the long touchdown pass he threw should have been intercepted by either Trevon Diggs or Damonte Kazee, although neither appeared too worried about trying.

I don’t think this is a bad team — they’re just completely unexplosive outside of blown coverages. They must play a certain style of football, and if the offensive line cannot dominate at the point of attack, they’re going to struggle to score enough points to win.” -Dalton Miller

Sporting News

Rank: #23 (previous week: #22)

“The Patriots have two "moral" home victories against the Cowboys and Buccaneers but they are still winless in New England. Their only wins are still against the Texans and Jets. Despite the prime treatment, they aren't playoff-worthy.” -Vinnie Iyer

USA Today

Rank: #23 (previously week: #26)

“Damien Harris could be New England's first 1,000-yard rusher in five years ... of course, these days, that only means you need to average 59 yards a week.” -Nate Davis

SI Patriot Maven Analysis:

Rank: #19 (previous week: #20)

“The Pats had some great moments on both sides of the ball, including some key defensive stops and a gutsy fourth-quarter performance by rookie quarterback Mac Jones. In the end, missed opportunities, questionable coaching decisions and their opponents’ ability to make plays when most-needed was the difference in Week Six.” -Mike D’Abate