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How the Pats stack up in uneven AFC

No longer at the top of the list, New England still among conference heavyweights

Updated: October 15, 2009, 3:10 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The picture has surprisingly become clearer through five weeks of the season.

If all AFC teams are a deck of cards, the New England Patriots are no longer the ace. But they remain close to the top of the deck.

In a league that prides itself on parity, it's somewhat remarkable that four teams can essentially be dismissed from the playoff mix already. Kansas City, Oakland, Cleveland and Buffalo look dreadful, with little hope for an in-season turnaround. ...

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