Power Rankings: No. 8 New England

A weekly examination of the Patriots' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 6 | Last Week: 5 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Patriots suffer their biggest drop of the season, from No. 5 to No. 8. It is their lowest ranking of the season.

Hard to argue with the voting. In fact, some could strongly make the case that it is generous after Sunday's 30-27 overtime loss to the Jets.

But in looking closer at the voters' tabulations, there were two seventh-place votes, two eighth-place votes and two ninth-place votes for the Patriots.

At this point, it seems clear that the Patriots can expect a tough game from any team among the top half of the rankings. After all, they were just beaten by the No. 15 Jets.

Next up: the No. 16 Dolphins.