Tuesday, September 13, 2011
AFC East Power Rankings analysis
By James Walker
Week 1 is in the books in the AFC East. Here is how the division fared in ESPN.com's latest Power Rankings:
New England Patriots (1-0)
Result: Beat Miami, 38-24
Ranking: No. 2
Analysis: New England held firm at No. 2 for the second straight week. The Patriots proved worthy of the preseason hype, particularly offensively. Quarterback Tom Brady lit up Miami for 517 passing yards and four touchdowns. I voted New England as the top team two weeks in a row. Otherwise, it was a clean sweep for the Green Bay Packers. The defending Super Bowl champs picked up a nice win against the New Orleans Saints.
New York Jets (1-0)
Result: Beat Dallas, 27-24
Ranking: No. 5
Analysis: The Jets used big plays in the fourth quarter to beat the Dallas Cowboys. It was an entertaining game. But it also exposed a lot of things the Jets need to work on. New York's offense needs to run the ball more effectively. Yes, the Jets plan to pass more this year. But Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson need to be more productive when they do get carries. Minus a couple of mistakes, quarterback Mark Sanchez (335 yards) played well in his regular-season debut.
Miami Dolphins (0-1)
Result: Lost to New England, 38-24
Ranking: No. 26
Analysis: I said last week that Miami is a hard team to gauge. The Dolphins have good talent, but I'm unsure if they will be able to put it all together consistently. Miami showed some good things (offense) and bad things (defense) in Monday's loss to New England. Miami quarterback Chad Henne showed promise with a career-high 416 passing yards. The defense offered little resistance. I voted Miami pretty high (No. 20) compared to the overall group. But I'm still trying to figure this team out.
Buffalo Bills (1-0)
Result: Beat Kansas City, 41-9
Ranking: No. 27
Analysis: I was curious to see if the Bills would be ranked ahead or below the Dolphins. It turns out Buffalo was one spot behind Miami. I ranked the Bills No. 21 after a quality road win against the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs. Perhaps in the biggest surprise was the Chiefs (No. 21) were still rated six spots ahead of the Bills (No. 27).