Patriots move up in USA TODAY’s NFL power rankings

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The New England Patriots may not be moving on up like George Jefferson, but they did manage to jump at least one spot in the latest edition of USA TODAY’s NFL power rankings.

After ranking 13th among NFL teams back in May, the team has now moved up to the No. 12 spot. The two teams ahead of them for a potential top-10 spot are the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts.

USA TODAY’s Nate Davis wrote:

“Despite all the speculation about offensive playcalling and good feelings around QB Mac Jones’ development, perhaps the focus should be on a defense devoid of top-tier talent. New England was steamrolled for 150 points in its final five games of 2021.”

The defense does come with its fair share of question marks with the departures of standout playmakers like J.C. Jackson, Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins.

If the unit struggles in 2022, it could put even more stress on an offense still trying to make things work without Josh McDaniels calling the plays and an underwhelming receiving corps—at least on paper.

Of course, Matt Patricia could end up working out as offensive coordinator, Mac Jones could have a second-year leap, the receivers could overperform and the defense could find some consistency.

The Patriots are never a team deserving of being slept on.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire