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Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Power Rankings: Jets jockey past Patriots

By Tim Graham

Every AFC East team slid backward -- if it could -- in ESPN.com's latest Power Rankings.

The Buffalo Bills were the only team that remained unchanged from last week because they're ranked dead last, but if you read on you'll see how they're closer to climbing out of the basement than they've been in weeks.

The New York Jets were the lone AFC East winners in Week 9, but they lost ground in the Power Rankings. The Jets should've lost in Detroit, while other teams moved past with impressive performances.

The New England Patriots fell five spots, and the Miami Dolphins dropped two with thorough defeats.

Senior writer John Clayton, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, AFC North blogger James Walker and NFC West blogger Mike Sando make up ESPN.com's Power Rankings syndicate.

5. New York Jets

Previous rank: 4

My take: In a season highlighted by some great "Alcoa Presents" moments, the Jets pulled out one of the most fantastic finishes by beating the Detroit Lions in overtime Sunday. Still, the Jets slipped a spot in the rankings because the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants leapfrogged them. Maybe the panel was experiencing some guilt because there haven't been any NFC teams in the top four the previous three weeks. But more likely is that the panel has noticed some Jets flaws. After all, the Jets are a few nice breaks from being 0-3 over their past three games.

6. New England Patriots

Previous rank: 1

My take: The Patriots deserved to be ranked atop the poll last week because they had the NFL's best record and the other so-called elites had lost in Week 8. But the Patriots didn't look like they deserved anything near pole position in their humbling loss to the Cleveland Browns. No team fell farther than the Patriots did this week. A five-spot tumble seems appropriate after what we saw in Cleveland.

17. Miami Dolphins

Previous rank: 15

My take: No. 17 ties the Dolphins' worst position since the first Power Rankings were issued in April. The Dolphins simply can't get any traction. They're 4-4 and haven't won back-to-back games since Weeks 1 and 2. But if there's any solace, their losses are to the teams that ranked No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in last week's Power Rankings. Are the Dolphins a below average team? Probably not. But after looking so ragged on offense and defense against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, there's not much for the voters to embrace.

32. Buffalo Bills

Previous rank: 32

My take: The Bills didn't sweep the bottom spot on all four ballots for the first time in a while. Walker had them rated 30th, ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. I have a feeling Bills fans would gladly trade Buffalo's roster for Dallas' straight up, but Carolina truly is a bad club. Still, as long as the Bills are the only team without a victory, they deserve to be last. Once they win a game, then we can discuss whether they're better than the other dregs.