Just two days before the start of the NFL pre-season, ESPN.com has unveiled its first set of 2011 NFL power rankings. A panel of five writers covering the league collaborated on the effort, and unsurprisingly, the Buffalo Bills did not fare well.
Specifically, they fared better than just one other NFL team.
Buffalo comes in at No. 31 on the list, sitting ahead of just the Cincinnati Bengals, who've gutted their roster and plan on starting a rookie quarterback this season. They're a spot behind the Carolina Panthers, who held the top pick in April's draft but likely snuck ahead thanks to a highly aggressive free agent signing period. In the AFC East, New England and New York both crack the Top 10, while the Miami Dolphins slide in at No. 24.
This is the paragraph where we insert commentary about how power rankings are utterly meaningless, save that they capture the general sentiment of how a team and franchise is perceived at the moment by one writer, or in this case by a few writers.