AFC East: 2013 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

Power Rankings: No. 4 New England

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Patriots’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 6 | Last Week: 5 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Patriots' No. 4 ranking represents their highest spot of the year. They've been as low as seventh.

When looking closer at the voting breakdown, it came down to the Patriots and Saints for the No. 4 spot, with New Orleans getting one more third-place vote to barely edge New England.

If things hold true this week -- the Patriots hit the road to face the Bengals, while the Saints visit the Bears -- it will set up a potential No. 3 versus No. 4 matchup between the Patriots and Saints on Oct. 13 at Gillette Stadium. If the weather cooperates, that could turn out to be a true gem, because from this viewpoint, there's not much better than high-level NFL football played on a perfect New England day.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

First up for the Patriots is a test against the Bengals, who dropped from sixth to 11th in ESPN's Power Rankings.

As for the No. 1 (Denver) and No. 2 (Seattle) teams in the Power Rankings, no arguments here. They deserve it and my sense is that most Patriots followers would agree, while also acknowledging that what the picture looks like today isn't always what we'll see when it counts in November and December.

Power Rankings: No. 23 Buffalo Bills

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Bills' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 30 | Last Week: 24 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Just a slight bump.

That was all voters gave the Bills after their win over the Baltimore Ravens, who were ranked No. 11 entering the game. Improving to 2-2, the Bills rose just one spot in the overall rankings, to No. 23.

I think they should be higher. Of teams Nos. 20-22, the Bills have lost to one (the Jets, No. 22), defeated another (the Panthers, No. 21) and will play the other Thursday night (the Browns, No. 20). The Panthers' lone win came against the 0-4 Giants, and the Browns were ranked No. 31 two weeks ago.

Are the Bills really worse than either Cleveland or Carolina? I don't think so.

And ESPN's Kevin Seifert doesn't, either. He gave the Bills their highest vote of the season, placing them No. 18 in his ranking.

Power Rankings: No. 22 New York Jets

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Jets' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 32 | Last Week: 18 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Jets dropped four spots. When you go on the road and get run out of the building by a team forced to play its backup quarterback for the last 26 minutes, what do you expect? The Jets' 38-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans was a back-to-reality check. Actually, the Jets are lucky they didn't fall into the mid-20s.

Not surprisingly, the Jets are second lowest among the 2-2 teams, ahead of only the Buffalo Bills (No. 23), whom they defeated in Week 3. Next up for the Jets are the Atlanta Falcons, still living off last season's success -- at least in the eyes of our distinguished panel of voters. The Falcons are 1-3, yet there they are at No. 16, the second-highest sub-.500 team in the rankings.

Power Rankings: No. 7 Miami Dolphins

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Dolphins' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 20 | Last Week: 7 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

I must say, I’m shocked the Miami Dolphins didn’t move down in this week’s ESPN.com Power Rankings. Miami was lambasted on national television in a 38-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on "Monday Night Football."

This was a measuring stick game for Miami, and we pretty much knew who was the better team after two quarters. Sloppy play and four turnovers were too much for the Dolphins to make it competitive.

Are the Dolphins still the seventh-best team in the NFL? I didn’t feel as though I saw a top-seven team last night. The gap between the Saints -- ESPN.com's No. 3 team -- and Miami was large.

Dolphins fans have been screaming about more respect this year. Fans in Miami certainly can’t complain this week as ESPN.com's panel showed the Dolphins plenty of respect by not dropping them at all after losing by three touchdowns.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider