Power Rankings: Dolphins on the rise

Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey had an interesting quote after Sunday’s 30-9 victory over the New York Jets.

“It shows the NFL what we can do,” Pouncey said. "I think we deserve a little bit of respect now that we’re winning football games."

ESPN.com’s Power Rankings panel has taken notice.

The Dolphins, who won their third straight game, had one of the biggest jumps in this week’s rankings. Miami moved up four spots to No. 12, which is its highest ranking of the season.

Miami (4-3) is winning games by playing efficient in all three phases and has positioned itself to contend for a playoff spot in the second half of the season.

Here are the entire Power Rankings for the AFC East:

We are starting to see a separation between AFC East teams. Two weeks ago, there was a four-way tie for first place. Now, it’s much clearer who the contenders and pretenders are.

I was surprised the Patriots’ 45-7 drubbing of the St. Louis Rams didn’t move New England (5-3) up in the rankings. The Jets (3-5) dropped one place after losing at home to Miami, and the Bills (3-4) also dropped one place during their bye week.