Power Rankings balance out AFC East

The AFC East is polarized in ESPN.com's Power Rankings.

The New York Jets continue to inch toward the top, while the Buffalo Bills are entrenching themselves at the bottom.

In between, the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins had bye weeks but still managed some interesting movement.

Let's take a look at the assessments of ESPN.com's Power Rankings panel: senior writer John Clayton, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, AFC North blogger James Walker and NFC West blogger Mike Sando.

3. New York Jets

Previous rank: 4

My take: They're behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, and it's difficult to argue. The Ravens defeated the Jets at the Meadowlands on opening night. The Steelers have played to a high level and are welcoming their quarterback after a four-game suspension. Clayton had the Jets voted No. 1 on his ballot, which I don't agree with at this point. I'm closer to siding with Sando and Kuharsky, who listed the Jets fourth.

6. New England Patriots

Previous rank: 8

My take: The Patriots took a week off, traded future Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss and climbed two spots because the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers slipped in the poll. The Patriots seemingly have collected more question marks rather than addressed them as the season has progressed, yet they're up four spots from their preseason rating and have risen two straight weeks. The Patriots can justify such treatment with a victory over the Ravens on Sunday in Gillette Stadium.

17. Miami Dolphins

Previous rank: 13

My take: The Dolphins dropped four spots during their bye week. Walker listed them 22nd on his ballot, which is taking the Dolphins way too lightly. I realize the Dolphins have lost back-to-back games at home, but they're not a bottom-third team. They're not going to surrender 21 points off special teams on a regular basis. At least I don't think they will.

32. Buffalo Bills

Previous rank: 32

My take: The Bills aren't the only winless team. The San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers also are in the conversation for the NFL's worst, but the Bills have stated the most compelling case so far. They have allowed 30 points in four straight games. Bills owner Ralph Wilson on Monday told the Associated Press the turnaround will take three more years. Yeesh.