Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Some AFC East slippage in Power Rankings
By Tim Graham
Three AFC East teams faded in this week's Power Rankings yet still remained among the top 11, while the fourth club stayed the same because it couldn't get any worse.
The New York Jets and New England Patriots each won but dropped a rung because of the Chicago Bears' dramatic victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. The Bears shot to No. 6, causing AFC East clubs to lose a little ground from last week.
The Miami Dolphins dropped four spots for losing at home to the Jets. The Buffalo Bills remained last despite a scrappy road effort against the Patriots.
ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, AFC North blogger James Walker and NFC West blogger Mike Sando comprise the Power Rankings panel.
7. New York Jets
Previous rank: 6
My take: Doesn't seem to make sense that the Jets could win such a big divisional road contest on national TV yet take a step backward. But polls are like that sometimes, and teams such as the Bears and Atlanta Falcons are giving the panel plenty to consider. The Jets are ranked in the proper vicinity.
10. New England Patriots
Previous rank: 9
My take: I'm not convinced the Patriots can stick around this neighborhood for very long. The Patriots have a diverse and dangerous offense, but their defense has problems. A week after getting outplayed by the Jets, the Patriots took some haymakers from the No. 32 Bills at home.
11. Miami Dolphins
Previous rank: 7
My take: The Dolphins unleashed a remarkable passing attack Sunday night against the Jets. Chad Henne threw for 363 yards. Brandon Marshall had 10 receptions. But the Dolphins' defense barely got a finger on Mark Sanchez and couldn't come up with a stop when it counted. Sunday's game against the Patriots has the makings of a shootout.
32. Buffalo Bills
Previous rank: 32
My take: The Bills didn't get any bonus points for their competitiveness in Gillette Stadium. I still don't see them as the NFL's worst team and predict they'll finish with a few wins. This rock-bottom ranking should be temporary.