The New England Patriots were close to a consensus No. 1 team after stomping the Houston Texans Week 14, but after a 41-34 loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, there was some mix-up at the top of most rankings.
Those making power rankings are undecided whether to rank the Niners or Denver Broncos No. 1 heading into Week 16, but everybody agrees that the Pats, coming off a loss, aren't the team to take that spot. New England still looked strong in the loss, coming back from 28 points down, but the fact that they were down 31-3 in the first place was enough to bump them from the top spot. Joel Thorman of SB Nation made it clear in his Week 16 NFL power rankings that he still respected the team despite the end of their seven-game win streak.
Don't feel bad for the Patriots. They're still one of the five best teams in the NFL and have as good of a shot as anyone to win the Super Bowl. Don't overthink the occasional loss.
Others echoed that sentiment, as nobody really dropped the Patriots out of the top five. ESPN and CBS each had the Pats at No. 4, while Fox and NFL.com put them at No. 3.