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With the first week of the NFL regular season in the books, we're able to look at how the Patriots and their AFC East counterparts performed in Game 1.

Obviously, one week of football is an incredibly small sample size that will grow as the season progresses, but power rankings are fun, so why not?

Here are the Week 1 power rankings for the AFC East. The rankings are based on the quality of the opponent, final score, etc.

1. Patriots (defeated Steelers 28-21) - this one was obvious. The defending Super Bowl Champions came out and defeated a Pittsburgh Steelers team that some feel can contend for the AFC crown. While Tom Brady and Co. lit up the Steelers on defense, Ben Roethlisberger made the most of what he had on offense and made more of a game out of it than some expected. The Patriots improve as the season goes on and everyone knows it. So their defensive lapses aren't really much to bat an eye at right now. Malcolm Butler looked decent, despite allowing Antonio Brown to have a big night. Terrell Brown was solid in pass coverage and Devin McCourty was Devin McCourty. New England faces a very tough test this week in Buffalo. Speaking of the Bills....

2. Bills (defeated Colts 27-14) - Buffalo got off to a fast start by beating a loaded Colts team. The Bills defense held the Colts to only 14 points while consistently getting after Andrew Luck and making good plays in pass coverage. It helped the Bills cause that T.Y. Hilton went down with an injury mid-way through the game, but by all accounts they still probably would have won even if Hilton had played a full game. Offensively, I'd say the jury is still in on them. I don't believe the Colts defense is much better than it was last year, and it wasn't good last year. The combination of LeSean McCoy, rookie Karlos Williams and quarterback Tyrod Taylor torched Indy for a combined total of 137 yards on the ground. Taylor also threw for 195 yards and one beautiful touchdown pass to Percy Harvin in stride. Buffalo will put up points against the Patriots as well, but New England will be a tougher opponent.

3. Jets (defeated Browns 31-10) - This ranking is likely to get lower as we move forward, but for now, the Jets take third place here. While they beat a lowly Cleveland Browns team that had Johnny Manziel running the show for about half the game, they looked at least somewhat competent on offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't really that great of a quarterback, but that can be overshadowed when you have Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker catching passes. Chris Ivory had a nice day running the ball, as he went for 91 yards and two scores. The Jets defense looked stout, but again, they played the Browns. They've got the Colts up next on Monday Night Football, so don't expect them to look as good as they did last week.

4. Dolphins (defeated Redskins 17-10) - I'm still trying to wrap my head around how the Dolphins needed nearly a full game to beat a Redskins team that could end up being the worst team in the league this year. Ryan Tannehill was decent, but Lamar Miller really did nothing for them on the ground in what was the first test of his supposed break-out year. While Jarvis Landry, Miami's top receiving target had eight catches, he only compiled 53 yards. The Dolphins defense seemed to be up and down. They were able to intercept Kirk Cousins twice, but allowed 121 yards to Alfred Morris and another 40 yards to a slew of backs. The Dolphins get what you would assume is another easy game against Jacksonville this week.

What do you think of these rankings? What do you agree/disagree with?

Follow me on Twitter - @JesseGaunce

For more of my articles, click here.

Jesse Gaunce 9/15/2015 11:30:00 AM Edit
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