They are the NFL's love-hate team.

There is no in-between when it comes to the New England Patriots. But whether you love or hate them, there is one thing that you must have for the Patriots: Respect.

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You might hate their smugness and the arrogance of their coach sometimes. Or the fact that they've been caught cheating. But that aside, they are arguably the best dynasty of all time.

In an era of free agency and roster turnover, there is one constant every season. That's the Patriots. New England, which remains in the top spot of the Power Rankings this week, went to Denver and beat the Super Bowl champs last Sunday to clinch its eighth straight AFC East title.

That's unreal. They Patriots have also won 10 or more games for 14 consecutive seasons. That's even more amazing.

The why is really simple. Belichick and Brady. Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are the best coach-QB combo in league history. Which one is more valuable to the organization is up for debate -- I will go with Brady -- but both are so integral to the success of the Patriots.

When Brady wasn't grinding out yards and first downs against that fierce Broncos defense in a 16-3 victory, it was the defense that was the star of the show. That's what great teams do, compensate for each other. New England is tops in the NFL in scoring defense.

Belichick is the one who makes it all happen. He is a detail-oriented coach who is as good as anybody who has ever led an NFL team. The argument can be made that he is the best of all time. And he's far from done.

The Patriots have the top seed in the AFC right now and appear headed to earning it again, making them a Super Bowl favorite. That means the playoffs will go through New England again. Beating them with that quarterback-coach combo won't be easy -- especially at their place.

Love them or hate them, you have to respect them.

Biggest Movers
3 Steelers
5 Chiefs
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Patriots They clinched their eighth straight division title and the defense is getting better. --7-9-0
2 Cowboys Dak Prescott got back on track and that will quiet the Tony Romo talk for now. The defense is improving. --6-10-0
3 Raiders With the Chiefs losing and the Raiders winning, they are now atop the AFC West with two games to go. 28-8-0
4 Seahawks They looked like the Seahawks we expect to see in beating up on the Rams. They are division champs. 212-4-0
5 Falcons Matt Ryan continues to roll up big numbers as they push to a division title. He might be the MVP. 24-12-0
6 Giants The play of their defense makes them a dangerous team come playoff time. They need to get the offense back on track. 26-10-0
7 Steelers I think they are the team who could push the Patriots in the AFC. The defense is getting better. 312-4-0
8 Chiefs In their past three home games, they've lost two. That's weird for the Chiefs with Denver coming to town. 514-2-0
9 Lions They face a brutal road game this week at Dallas after losing on the road to the Giants. The schedule is so tough. 55-11-0
10 Broncos Their offense, as it showed against the Patriots, has been too limited this season. The champs are about done. 15-11-0
11 Ravens That two-point stop against the Eagles keeps them alive with a big division game against the Steelers this week. 111-5-0
12 Dolphins If the playoffs started today, they would be in the party. That's impressive. 110-6-0
13 Buccaneers They competed at Dallas against the best team in the conference. That's a good sign. They have to win their last two to have a playoff chance. 211-5-0
14 Texans The move to Tom Savage was the right decision, as is the choice to stay with him. Brock Osweiler was taking this team nowhere. 14-12-0
15 Titans If they win out, they will be in the playoffs. That's hard to believe. 211-5-0
16 Packers If they win their last two, they win the division. It's that simple. They are the team nobody wants to play. 213-3-0
17 Football Team That was a damning loss to the Panthers at home Monday night. They are in big trouble now. 37-9-0
18 Colts That was an impressive victory at Minnesota to keep their playoff hopes alive. But they need help. 211-5-0
19 Vikings This season has gone wrong in a lot of ways, but losing the way they did to the Colts was embarrassing. They are better than that. 37-9-0
20 Bills At .500, they play a big game this week with Miami. It looks like Rex Ryan is in trouble -- no matter what. 313-3-0
21 Saints All those who were ready to bury Drew Brees need to back off now. He carved up the Cardinals. 312-4-0
22 Panthers They waited too long to get it going this season. But they've played well the past two weeks. 35-11-0
23 Bengals Their first half against the Steelers is the team we expected to see this season. Of course, the second half was the team we saw a lot of this season. 24-11-1
24 Chargers Is coach Mike McCoy the next to be fired? It could be coming after the season. 27-9-0
25 Cardinals Special teams have killed the Cardinals all year. But what happened to the defense against the Saints? --8-8-0
26 Eagles They can ruin the Giants' playoff party this week if they can beat their rivals. You know they would love that. --4-11-1
27 Jets They had the look of a team that quit against the Dolphins. That is not a good look. --2-14-0
28 Rams So the firing of Jeff Fisher didn't change anything. This is still a bad team. What did you expect? --10-6-0
29 Bears They competed against Green Bay, which is a good sign with nothing on the line. Jordan Howard is a keeper. --8-8-0
30 Jaguars Gus Bradley got fired after Sunday's loss to the Texans, but does it matter this season? Not a bit. --1-15-0
31 49ers It's a shame that defense is as bad as it is right now. That used to be a team strong point. --6-10-0
32 Browns It seems to get worse by the week. They will not win a game. --11-5-0