Week 12 power rankings: AFC East
November, 24, 2009
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com
Rather than deliver the AFC East power rankings in the usual format, let's take a look not only at where the four teams rank but how they’ve fared against the NFL's best and worst opponents.
No. 4 New England Patriots
No. 4 New England Patriots
- Best win: The Patriots have gained their ranking based on convincing and consistent performances more than knocking off teams ranked above them. Their biggest victory so far was over the No. 15 Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.
- Worst loss: The No. 22 New York Jets kept the Patriots out of the end zone in Week 2. The Patriots avenged that defeat Sunday with a comfortable victory in Gillette Stadium.
- Close calls: The Patriots came dangerously close to getting stunned by the No. 27 Buffalo Bills on opening night but miraculously found a way to win. ... Bill Belichick's controversial decision to go for it on fourth down from his own 28 might have cost them a victory over the No. 2 Indianapolis Colts.
- Best win: Of the Dolphins' five victories, the highest-rated opponent is the No. 21 Carolina Panthers. They've beaten the No. 22 New York Jets twice, the No. 27 Bills and No. 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Worst loss: Four of their five defeats are to teams in the top 6, so it makes you stop to think the Dolphins' worst loss has been to the No. 16 Atlanta Falcons on opening day.
- Close calls: The Dolphins failed to close out the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the poll, blowing a 21-point second-quarter lead over the New Orleans Saints in Week 7 and letting Colts quarterback Peyton Manning beat them in Week 2 despite letting him have the ball for less than 15 minutes the whole game.
- Best win: Their signature win was two months ago, a solid triumph over the No. 4 Patriots.
- Worst loss: The No. 30 Bills delivered a sudden-death punch in the gut at the Meadowlands in Week 6.
- Close calls: Both games against the No. 17 Dolphins went down to the wire. The Jets lost the first meeting after a fourth quarter that featured five lead-changing touchdowns and dropped the rematch because they let Ted Ginn return two kickoffs 100 yards for touchdowns.
- Best win: The Bills' three victories are over the No. 21 Panthers, the No. 22 Jets and the No. 30 Buccaneers.
- Worst loss: Doesn't get any worse than being the only victory for the NFL's worst team. The Bills lost -- at home, no less -- to the No. 32 Cleveland Browns in Week 5.
- Close calls: The Bills should've beaten the Patriots on opening night, but Leodis McKelvin's infamous fumble in the closing minutes gave Tom Brady a golden opportunity.