Tuesday, October 4, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: AFC East
By James Walker
The AFC East had another down week. Here is how things turned out in ESPN.com's latest Power Rankings.
New England Patriots (3-1)
Result: W, 31-19 vs. Oakland
Power Ranking: No. 3 (same as last week)
Walker's vote: No. 3 (same)
Analysis: The Patriots held firm at No. 3 after a solid road victory against the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots controlled the game throughout and even showed some improvement on defense. It was a nice bounce-back game after a last-second loss to Buffalo in Week 3. Now, New England has a chance to extend the misery of the struggling Jets.
Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Result: L, 23-20 vs. Cincinnati
Power Ranking: No. 9 (down three spots)
Walker's vote: No. 10 (down three spots)
Analysis: The Bills remain in the top 10 despite an upset loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The loss to Cincinnati certainly raises questions. Is Buffalo truly a threat in the AFC? Can the Bills keep pace with teams like New England for 16 games? I'm very intrigued by Sunday's matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3). Philadelphia has a ton of talent and enters Buffalo in a must-win situation. The Bills, meanwhile, can prove a lot by handing the Eagles their fourth loss.
New York Jets (2-2)
Result: L, 34-17 vs. Baltimore
Power Ranking: No. 14 (down seven spots)
Walker's vote: No. 11 (down three spots)
Analysis: It's gut-check time for the Jets, who are on a two-game losing streak. New York was embarrassed after giving up three defensive touchdowns in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Now the Jets have a road game against New England, which has revenge on its minds after last year's playoff defeat. This week will be a character test for the 2011 Jets to see if they answer the challenge or continue their losing ways.
Miami Dolphins (0-4)
Result: L, 26-16 vs. San Diego
Power Ranking: No. 31 (down two spots)
Walker's vote: No. 31 (down two spots)
Analysis: Miami continues to slide down the Power Rankings. At times, the Dolphins are the worst executing team in the NFL. They have a bye week to try to fix all that has gone wrong. Also impacting my vote is the shoulder injury to starting quarterback Chad Henne. We don't know how long Henne will be out. But the team probably won't win many games with backup Matt Moore as the starter.