AFC East Power Rankings preview

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
5:00
PM ET
The AFC East had a successful 3-1 record in Week 13. Only the Buffalo Bills lost at home to the Tennessee Titans.

Here is how last weekend's results could impact our latest NFL Power Rankings:

New England Patriots (9-3)

Last week: No. 6

Result: W, 31-24 against Indianapolis

Analysis: Don’t expect the Patriots to move up in the Power Rankings. The five teams in front of New England all won. The final score wasn't indicative of how easy this game was for New England. The Patriots cruised to a 31-3 lead entering the fourth quarter, then eased up on the Colts. New England will be fine and have a cupcake schedule the rest of the way. The Patriots just need to keep beating teams they're expected to beat, and they could have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Projected vote: No. 5-7

New York Jets (7-5)

Last week: No. 15

Result: W, 34-19 against Washington

Analysis: I have a feeling New York will have a decent jump this week. It's not because the Jets beat a quality opponent, but because so many teams in front of them lost. There are nine teams with 7-5 records in the NFL. All have a chance at the playoffs in the final month of the season. The Jets are right in the thick of it among playoff hopefuls.

Projected vote: No. 10-12

Buffalo Bills (5-7)

Last week: No. 19

Result: L, 23-17 against Tennessee

Analysis: There's not much left to say about the Bills. They lost their fifth game in a row and are 2-7 since the team's 3-0 start. This team is finished in terms of making the playoffs. The best the Bills can hope for is to spoil someone else's season down the stretch. Buffalo has suffered a lot of injuries on offense and the defense can't stop anyone. Expect its ranking to continue to plummet.

Projected vote: No. 21-23

Miami Dolphins (4-8)

Last week: No. 26

Result: W, 34-14 against Oakland

Analysis: Miami is playing its best football of the season and should continue to climb up ESPN.com's Power Rankings. The Dolphins won their fourth game in five tries with a dominant 34-14 pounding of the Oakland Raiders. I think it's time the Dolphins are ranked ahead of the Bills. Miami is playing much better and convincingly pounded Buffalo 35-8 in the teams' first meeting.

Projected vote: No. 19-21

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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