Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Power Rankings: AFC East gains command
By Tim Graham
The AFC East is getting mentioned as the NFL's best division again.
The latest edition of ESPN.com's Power Rankings illustrates why.
The New York Jets and New England Patriots are two of only three teams with fewer than two losses. They are ranked Nos. 2 and 3 this week behind the other one-loss club, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Miami Dolphins moved up slightly after a nice road victory over a preseason Super Bowl favorite. The Buffalo Bills were on their bye weekend and remained at rock bottom.
ESPN.com's Power Rankings panel features senior writer John Clayton, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, AFC North blogger James Walker and NFC West blogger Mike Sando.
2. New York Jets
Previous rank: 3
My take: They were shaky at times against an inferior opponent, but Mile High Stadium isn't the easiest place to play and the Jets found a way to win without their best game. The Jets sprinted through the bye-week finish line with another victory and are 5-1.
3. New England Patriots
Previous rank: 6
My take: Can't argue with this ranking at all based on last week's poll and what transpired. The Patriots needed overtime, but they withstood an impressive challenge to beat the then-No. 2 Baltimore Ravens in Gillette Stadium.
16. Miami Dolphins
Previous rank: 17
My take: I was surprised the Dolphins didn't climb more than a spot after knocking off the Green Bay Packers, ranked No. 8 last week, at Lambeau Field. I suppose the panel can justify Miami's minor tweak given the load of injuries Green Bay nearly overcame before succumbing in sudden death. The Dolphins are 3-0 on the road and have the Steelers at home this week. A victory would establish the Dolphins as legit.
32. Buffalo Bills
Previous rank: 32
My take: The Bills might have gotten healthier and improved with some additional practice during the bye week, but unless they reveal something radical Sunday against the Ravens, there's no reason to move the Bills from the bottom rung.