Week 2 power rankings: AFC East
September, 15, 2009
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
One play can make a huge difference.
OK, in this case it was a couple plays. Kick returner Leodis McKelvin fumbles, and three snaps later Tom Brady fires a touchdown strike to Benjamin Watson to give the New England Patriots a 25-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills on "Monday Night Football."
The only time the Bills trailed in the game was over the final 50 seconds.
So how much does that impact ESPN's Week 2 power rankings?
Not one iota. The Patriots and Bills remained right where they were.
But I reached out to our voters (ESPN senior writers John Clayton and Jeffri Chadiha, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky and NFC West blogger Mike Sando) to find out where they would have slotted each club had the Bills held on for the upset.
The consensus: Buffalo would have soared into the top half of the chart. New England might've tumbled into the double-digits.
The official rundown follows ...
No. 2 New England Patriots
- Last week's rating: No. 2
- Best rating: No. 2
- Worst rating: No. 5 (Clayton)
- Note: The Pittsburgh Steelers were rated first across the board. Clayton said he would have ranked the Patriots No. 10 at best if they'd lost to the Bills. Chadiha said he would have dropped them "to the bottom of the top 10. ... It's clear New England has some holes to fill."
- Last week's rating: No. 23
- Best rating: No. 15 (Sando)
- Worst rating: No. 18 (Clayton)
- Note: The Jets' impressive victory over the Houston Texans shot them seven spots upward, the week's biggest improvement.
- Last week's rating: No. 16
- Best rating: No. 18 (Chadiha, Kuharsky)
- Worst rating: No. 21 (Clayton, Sando)
- Note: Four other teams slipped more than three spots. The Carolina Panthers plummeted eight, while the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans dropped four.
- Last week's rating: No. 21
- Best rating: No. 17 (Chadiha)
- Worst rating: No. 24 (Clayton, Kuharsky)
- Note: The Bills certainly would have climbed had they held on for the upset. Sando and Chadiha noted they would've put the Bills in their top 15, but Kuharsky said he would've nudged them up to 22nd.