AFC East Power Rankings preview

Week 12 saw a little bit of everything in the AFC East in Week 12. We had close games, excitement and controversy.

Here is how the results could impact Tuesday's NFL Power Rankings:

New England Patriots (8-3)

Last week: No. 6

Result: W, 38-20 against Philadelphia

Analysis: The Patriots are cruising. They picked up another convincing win and have the AFC East in the bag. The only question now is can New England stay hot to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs? Despite the win, New England may stay put this week. The San Francisco 49ers (9-2) are the only team ahead of the Patriots to lose.

Projected vote: No. 4-6

New York Jets (6-5)

Last week: No. 15

Result: W, 28-24 against Buffalo

Analysis: The Jets picked up a must-win game after some fourth-quarter heroics from starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. It wasn’t an impressive win by any means. But any win in November and December helps New York, which doesn’t have many strikes left to make the playoffs. I don’t expect beating Buffalo to move the Jets up far. They have to string together more wins to impress our panel.

Projected vote: No. 12-14

Buffalo Bills (5-6)

Last week: No. 19

Result: L, 28-24 against New York

Analysis: The Bills will continue to slide down ESPN’s Power Rankings after losing their season-high fourth consecutive game. Buffalo’s playoff chances virtually ended Sunday. But I did like the Bills’ effort in this game after getting blown out in back-to-back weeks. I’m curious to see if this Buffalo team shows up the rest of the season.

Projected vote: No. 20-22

Miami Dolphins (3-8)

Last week: No. 25

Result: L, 20-19 against Dallas

Analysis: Miami has a chance to move up slightly following its competitive loss to the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys. The Dolphins outplayed Dallas on the road for three quarters before blowing a pair of leads late in the game. It was a game effort for Miami, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Dolphins are a dangerous team down the stretch for playoff hopefuls.

Projected vote: No. 23-25