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Monday, November 7, 2011
AFC East Power Rankings preview

By James Walker

So...where do we go from here?

How do you rank three teams in the AFC East with similar records when they've all beaten each other this season? That will be the biggest challenge for me during this week's Power Rankings.

Here is a preview of what you can expect in the division:

New England Patriots (5-3)

Last week: No. 5

Result: L, 24-20 against Giants

Analysis: New England has looked very ordinary the past few weeks. The offense can't score more than 20 points and the defense, as usual, makes too many mistakes. The Patriots are a very beatable team right now. Expect them to slide several more spots for the second consecutive week. They have a big game against the New York Jets coming up on the road with first place in the AFC East on the line.

Projected ranking: No. 7-9

Buffalo Bills (5-3)

Last week: No. 7

Result: L, 27-11 against Jets

Analysis: The Bills are showing their youth and inconsistency in the past month. Buffalo is just 2-3 in its past five games. The Bills played one of their worst games of the season against New York — the final score wasn’t indicative of how badly the team was outplayed. Things won’t get any easier for the Bills, who have three consecutive games on the road while trying to stay in the AFC East race.

Projected ranking: No. 10-12

New York Jets

Last week: No. 13

Result: W, 27-11 against Buffalo

Analysis: The Jets are finally looking like the physical, ground-and-pound team most expected in the preseason. They have won three in a row and are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Expect New York to make the top 10 for the first time in a while. You can rank New York above the Bills. But can you rank New York above the Patriots? New England beat the Jets earlier this season.

Projected ranking: No. 7-9

Miami Dolphins (1-7)

Last week: No. 31

Result: W, 31-3 against Kansas City

Analysis: How about those Dolphins? Not only did they get their first victory, but they did it so convincingly that you wonder where this team has been all season. Miami has talent, but sometimes executes like a high school team. The Dolphins seem to finally be going into the right direction. Expect Miami to move up the Power Rankings this week.

Projected ranking: No. 28-30