The latest ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings are out.
The power rankings panel consists of ESPN senior writers John Clayton and Jeffri Chadiha, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky and NFC West blogger Mike Sando.
No. 5 New England Patriots
Last week's rating: No. 6
Best rating: No. 5
Worst rating: No. 5
Note: The Patriots climbed a spot in the ranking for coming thisclose to beating the No. 2 Indianapolis Colts on the road. The Patriots will have another shot to assert themselves 13 days from now in the Superdome against the No. 1 New Orleans Saints.
No. 18 Miami Dolphins
Last week's rating: No. 17
Best rating: No. 18 (Clayton, Chadiha, Sando)
Worst rating: No. 19 (Kuharsky)
Note: A narrow victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't impress the panel, but those who followed the game closely have to give the tattered Dolphins credit for one of their gutsiest performances in recent years.
No. 21 New York Jets
Last week's rating: No. 18
Best rating: No. 19 (Clayton)
Worst rating: No. 22 (Sando)
Note: Their position is the lowest since the season began, but still two spots higher than their preseason ranking. Just six weeks ago, the Jets were rated as the No. 5 team in the poll.
No. 26 Buffalo Bills
Last week's rating: No. 24
Best rating: No. 25 (Clayton, Kuharsky)
Worst rating: No. 26 (Chadiha, Sando)
Note: After floating around at No. 21 for most of the year and No. 22 as recently as two weeks ago, the Bills finally are settling in the area I thought they belonged for over a month. They rank ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns.