Each week, we’ll be taking a brief look at each division in the NFL to see what the pecking order truly is, and not always just go by the win-loss records.
Here are the power rankings for the teams in the AFC East.
4. New York Jets (0-9)
This basement bottom AFC East won’t come as much of a surprise to any of our readers, but New York has hung tough in their last two games against AFC East rivals New England and Buffalo.
Backup QB Joe Flacco turned the clock back on "Monday Night Football" in Week 9, showing effectiveness not displayed since his time with the Baltimore Ravens. He impressively utilized receivers Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims against a depleted Patriots secondary that was missing all-world cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
While the Jets are starting to show glimmers of light these past two weeks against AFC East foes, fans will continue to focus on the development of their young receivers, who are auditioning for snaps beyond this season, regardless of who is throwing them the ball.
3. New England Patriots (3-5)
It’s a little disconcerting for Patriots fans who are used to making the playoffs every year to have been in such a grind-it-out affair with the AFC East doormat Jets on Monday night.
At the end of the day, however, the Patriots got the job done thanks to some late-game situational execution from QB Cam Newton and WR Jakobi Meyers. But not defeating the Jets in a more convincing fashion is an ominous sign for the team that used to dominate the AFC East.
They'll need to play a lot better next week against the Baltimore Ravens on "Sunday Night Football" if they want to stay in the AFC East race and keep their faint playoff hopes alive. It’ll be a tough task against a swarming Baltimore defense and talented secondary.
2. Miami Dolphins (5-3)
If the Patriots win against the Jets on Monday night was concerning for the Foxboro faithful, then the Dolphins’ win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday was supremely uplifting for South Beach supporters.
There were rampant questions about whether Miami was truly invested in rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa beyond this season, and his performance this weekend made the statement that the team should look no further than No. 1.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign was the way head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey decided to end the game. Needing to convert a short third down to put the game on ice, they called a quarterback sneak for Tagovailoa, indicating that they are confident in his health moving forward.
1. Buffalo Bills (7-2)
Arguably no team in the NFL, and definitely no team in the AFC East, had a bigger statement win in Week 9 than the Buffalo Bills did against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Bills throttled Seattle, 44-34, by exposing their putrid pass defense from the outset of the game. QB Josh Allen proved that he could win an important game as the centerpiece of the offensive focus. While his 415 passing yards were notable, perhaps the most important statistic was that Allen did not turn the ball over, which will be an important trend to follow as the Bills play stronger competition down the stretch.
If he continues to provide reliable dual-threat ability while taking care of the football, the Bills will be the AFC East champions and a tough out come January.Published 11 Nov 2020, 02:19 IST