The New England Patriots are the best team in the AFC, right?
According to one NFL.com writer, that isn’t the case at the moment.
Elliot Harrison released his latest NFL preseason power rankings Tuesday, with the Patriots coming in at No. 3. While the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles sitting at No. 1 is warranted, the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 certainly is up for debate.
Here’s Harrison’s reasoning:
“Shocked? Don’t be,” Harrison writes. “Sure, this is a nod to what the Jaguars accomplished last season and how strong they are heading into the preseason. Going beyond those factors, the absences of Julian Edelman (and others) in New England and Aaron Donald in Los Angeles weaken the Patriots and Rams enough to allow Jacksonville to move up another notch. Of course, so much depends on Blake Bortles’ play at quarterback. If he fares like he did in the 2017 postseason, Jacksonville will beat New England come Week 2.”
Edelman’s absence obviously isn’t favorable for the Patriots, but is it really enough to claim the Jags as the current best team in the AFC? New England did lose a handful of impact players in the offseason, but its crop of new players can’t be overlooked either. Jacksonville impressed last season, but its gap in talent between the offense and defense is much greater than the Patriots’.
Either way, the teams’ Week 2 matchup sure will be interesting.