Tuesday, October 11, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: AFC East
By James Walker
The AFC East went 2-1 in Week 5. Here is how those games impacted this week's Power Rankings:
New England Patriots (4-1)
Result: W, 30-21 against the Jets
Power ranking: No. 2 (up one spot)
Walker's vote: No. 2 (up one spot)
Analysis: A less-than-stellar performance by the New Orleans Saints allowed the Patriots to climb one spot in this week's Power Rankings. New England had another great performance with a win over the Jets. Quarterback Tom Brady has been phenomenal, and now the running game is starting to gain steam. If the defense can make greater strides towards the second half of the season, New England will be very tough to beat.
Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Result: W, 31-24 against Philadelphia
Power ranking: No. 6 (up three spots)
Walker's vote: No. 7 (up three spots)
Analysis: The Bills climbed back near the top of the Power Rankings with an impressive win over the "Dream Team" Philadelphia Eagles. Buffalo dominated the game and led by 17 points after three quarters. The desperate Eagles made a push in the fourth but the Bills held on. Buffalo already matched its win total from last season. The Bills join the Detroit Lions as the darlings of the AFC and NFC, respectively.
New York Jets (2-3)
Result: L, 30-21 against New England
Power ranking: No. 17 (down three spots)
Walker's vote: No. 15 (down four spots)
Analysis: The Jets are slowly moving down the Power Rankings during their three-game losing streak. They were rated as low as No. 21 by our panel. I voted New York No. 15. I may be alone here, but I still think the Jets have potential. New York has more talent than most of the two- and three-win teams. The Jets just need to find their identity and put it all together. A game against the winless Dolphins could be the right time for the Jets get their swagger back. If not, it will be a long season in New York.
Miami Dolphins (0-4)
Power ranking: No. 30 (up one spot)
Walker's vote: No. 31 (same)
Analysis: The Dolphins moved up one place to No. 30 following the bye. The Indianapolis Colts dropped to No. 32 following their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Dolphins have given New York problems in the past. So Miami at least has a chance to pull the upset. But Miami is starting a backup quarterback -- Matt Moore -- on the road after Chad Henne’s season-ending shoulder injury. That doesn't bode well for the Dolphins, who are trying to turn their season around.