Power Rankings: No. 5 New England

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Patriots’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 6| Last Week: 6 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Patriots move up a spot from sixth to fifth, while Thursday's opponent, the Jets, jumps from 32nd to 27th.

The spike for the Jets was expected after an 18-17 season-opening win over the Buccaneers, while the Patriots' slight rise probably doesn't reflect public perception here in the New England region after a too-close-for-comfort 23-21 victory over the Bills.

So looking ahead to Thursday, it's a matchup of No. 5 vs. No. 27, with the higher-ranked team at home. The Patriots are the heavy favorites and they should be.

But here is one thought that came to mind this morning: If we were putting together a power ranking of top defensive coordinators/schemes in the NFL that have given Tom Brady and Co. problems, Rex Ryan and the Jets would be near the top of my list. Ryan has thrown just about everything at Brady over the years -- sometimes rushing just two and dropping nine, other times bringing overload blitz pressure -- and the Jets have had their moments.

With injuries to top playmakers Danny Amendola (groin) and Shane Vereen (wrist) in mind, that makes this 5 versus 27 matchup a tougher challenge than the rankings might suggest.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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