Power Rankings: Miami Dolphins No. 14

A weekly examination of the Dolphins’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 20 | Last week: 16 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Miami Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They improved to 3-0 in December with a landmark 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots.

The Dolphins' win could propel them into the final wild-card spot in the AFC. The Dolphins control their own destiny and need to win their final two games against the Buffalo Bills (5-9) and New York Jets (6-8).

But how much did the Dolphins’ win over New England register in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings? According to our panel, Miami moved up just two spots this week to No. 14. It’s not a bad ranking, but the win didn’t get the Dolphins as much respect as I expected.

There are only a handful of teams playing better football right now than Miami. The Dolphins proved this year they could compete with anyone. But there also have been times when they played down to their competition. Miami cannot have a letdown this week against the Bills, who beat the Dolphins earlier this season.