Power Rankings: Patriots are No. 1

The New England Patriots are the best team in the NFL.

So says the latest edition of ESPN.com's Power Rankings.

The Patriots became the first AFC East team to hold the top spot this year. The New York Jets were rated second the previous two weeks.

Another Miami Dolphins road victory helped the division solidify its stature in the poll, putting three AFC East clubs in the top half of the league. I believe the Dolphins deserve to be even higher. The Buffalo Bills remained at the bottom of the chart.

ESPN.com's Power Rankings committee consists of senior writer John Clayton, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, AFC North blogger James Walker and NFC West blogger Mike Sando.

1. New England Patriots

Previous rank: 3

My take: If you're going to dispute this ranking, then you're trying too hard. The Patriots have the NFL's best record at 6-1. True, they lost to the Jets, but the Patriots haven't lost since, winning five straight. The Jets were shut out at home Sunday. The Patriots also were the highest-rated team from last week's Power Rankings to win.

4. New York Jets

Previous rank: 2

My take: I disagree with the Baltimore Ravens leapfrogging the Jets from No. 4 to No. 2. On what grounds? They needed overtime at home and a load of luck to squeak past the Bills in Week 7 and were idle in Week 8. But if not the Ravens, then maybe the Indianapolis Colts deserve to be ahead of the Jets anyway. So I'm not going to quibble with the Jets being rated fourth. That seems proper.

15. Miami Dolphins

Previous rank: 16

My take: The Dolphins aren't getting enough respect in the Power Rankings. Granted, the Cincinnati Bengals were ranked 22nd last week, but the Dolphins won at Paul Brown Stadium to push their road record to 4-0. The Dolphins were one bad break away from beating the then-No. 1 Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6. I'm not saying the Dolphins should be in the top 10, but they did beat the Green Bay Packers, who are No. 8 this week, at Lambeau Field.

32. Buffalo Bills

Previous rank: 32

My take: The Bills have shown signs of life on the field, but they still have no Power Rankings pulse. All four voters slotted them 32nd despite taking superior teams into overtime on the road two weeks in a row. But the Bills are the NFL's only winless club, and until they get a victory, they justifiably will be rated at dead last.