The New England Patriots have been rolling lately, but it comes on the heels of a slow September.

Entering Week 10 action against the Tennessee Titans, the Pats sit at 7-2, having rattled off six straight wins. Currently, they rank among the league’s best with the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.

But in ESPN’s midseason grades, they were rated in the “Above Average” category, not the “Near Perfect” group with the aforementioned three squads.

Here is Patriots writer Mike Reiss’ reasoning.

“After a 1-2 start, the Patriots have won six in a row and are well positioned to make their annual charge at what they hope will be a deep run into January. It was almost like watching two different teams between the first three games and the past six. A big part of that was the return of receiver Julian Edelman from a four-game NFL suspension and integration of trade acquisition Josh Gordon into the offensive attack. The defense has been up and down, but is trending in the right direction after its best performance of the season against the Packers.”

It is pretty fair to say the Patriots are simply “above average” if you take recency bias out of the equation. However, in being grouped there, they fall with some clearly inferior teams. The Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks all are listed as “above average.”

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images