Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Power Rankings: AFC East
By James Walker
There were a lot of ups and downs in the AFC East in Week 11.
Here is how the recent outcomes impacted our latest NFL Power Rankings:
New England Patriots (7-3)
Results: W, 34-3 against Chiefs
Power Ranking: No. 6 (up two spots)
Walker’s vote: No. 6 (up two spots)
Analysis: The Patriots did what was expected in manhandling the Kansas City Chiefs. As a result, New England moved up two spots. What I was most impressed with is New England's defense holding a team to just three points. Sure, backup quarterback Tyler Palko played for Kansas City. But the Patriots are going to win a lot of games down the stretch with their easy schedule. It's all about improving their weaknesses before the postseason.
New York Jets (5-5)
Result: L, 17-13 against Broncos
Power Ranking: No. 15 (down one spot)
Walker’s vote: No. 16 (down four spots)
Analysis: For three quarters, the Jets could stop Tim Tebow. But the Broncos quarterback pulled off another surprising comeback in the fourth quarter with a 95-yard touchdown drive to upset the Jets. New York has talent. But it plays like a middle-of-the-pack team. Some weeks the Jets are dominant, other weeks they struggle. The Jets pretty much have to win out to get into the playoffs. If not, there is a good chance New York will look back at this Denver game with anguish.
Buffalo Bills (5-5)
Result: L, 35-8 against Dolphins
Power Ranking: No. 19 (down two spots)
Walker’s vote: No. 21 (down two spots)
Analysis: Buffalo is rated No. 19. But the Bills are playing like the 31st-rated team lately, slightly ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. Buffalo had no explanation for its drubbing against the Dolphins. Buffalo has been embarrassed and outscored 109-26 the past three weeks. I don't think this team can recover from this awful stretch. But Buffalo will try to make a run for the playoffs. It starts Sunday with a must-win game against the Jets.
Miami Dolphins (3-7)
Result: W, 35-8 against Bills
Power Ranking: No. 25 (up four spots)
Walker’s vote: No. 23 (up four spots)
Analysis: The Dolphins are the hottest team in the AFC East. They won their third game in a row with a dominating performance against the Buffalo Bills. This is the competitive Miami team I expected all season. The Dolphins are playing efficient and physical on both sides of the football and could spoil a lot of teams' playoff dreams down the stretch. Miami likely ended the Bills' playoff hopes last week.