Power Rankings: No. 5 New England

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 one spot, to No. 5, after their 30-27 win over the Saints. The victory wasn't enough to leapfrog the Saints (No. 3); the top five looks this way:

1. Broncos

2. Chiefs

3. Saints

4. Seahawks

5. Patriots

Looking closer at the voters' tabulations, the Patriots had two votes for third place, two for fourth place, one for fifth place and one for sixth place. That gave the Seahawks a narrow edge over them.

Here is a big-picture thought this week as it relates to the Power Rankings: All the teams in the top tier are close enough that a matchup between them will likely come down to which club executes in the critical situations, which is reinforced by what we saw at the end of the Patriots' 30-27 win over the Saints.

From a Patriots perspective, they are riding a high in that regard.

Next up: the No. 20-ranked New York Jets.